Naples offers endless possibilities to take in the bounty of beautiful flora and forestry of Southwest Florida. For your consideration the next time you plan an outdoor excursion, here are four of the best boardwalks and hiking trails in and around Naples—whether you like to take leisurely strolls, brisk walks, or rejuvenating hikes.
4 of the Best Boardwalks and Hiking Trails in and Around Naples
Beauty and adventure await along the boardwalks and hiking trails of these beautiful parks and preserves:
- Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
- CREW Bird Rookery Swamp
- Gordon River Greenway
- Barefoot Beach Preserve
#1. Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
375 Sanctuary Road
Naples, Florida 34120
When you visit Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary you can travel a 2.25-mile boardwalk that stretches around a landscape of pine flatwoods, marsh, wet prairie, and an impressive bald cypress forest—the largest in all of North America.
Bring along your binoculars because a broad range of wildlife has made the sanctuary’s 13,000 acres their home, including birds like egrets, herons and hawks, and animals like deer, alligators, and turtles.
You can enjoy a picnic lunch at tables in the parking area, and there’s a Nature Store where you can purchase souvenirs.
Sorry, but four-legged friends aren’t allowed.
#2. CREW Bird Rookery Swamp
1295 Shady Hollow Blvd W.
Naples, Florida 34120
At CREW Bird Rookery Swamp you can hike or bike along a 12-mile groomed trail within the 50,000-acre Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. The trails and a boardwalk will carry you along cypress-maple swamps where you can spot a variety of bird species, like herons and egrets. So if you own a pair of binoculars, don’t leave them at home.
You’ll be pleased to know that parking is free.
#3. Gordon River Greenway
1590 Goodlette-Frank Road (Goodlette Road entrance)
1596 Golden Gate Parkway (Golden Gate Pkwy entrance)
This 140-acre park has 2.5 miles of paths and boardwalk. You’ll find that the trail can comfortably accommodate hikers and bikers, and wheelchairs and strollers can travel the routes with very little difficulty. The Greenway is ideal for walkers, joggers, cyclers, skateboarders, and roller bladers.
The park has lots to enjoy. There are scenic overlooks, stations to view wildlife, bridges for fishing, and informational signs about native Florida fauna so you can further appreciate the beauty surrounding you. Once you work up an appetite during your visit, you can dine beneath a picnic shelter. The park is equipped with water fountains, restrooms, and a modest playground for the kids. Leashed fur babies are welcomed–just be sure to clean up after them. Oh, and there’s no parking fee or entrance fee.
Related: The 5 best dog parks in Naples
#4. Barefoot Beach Preserve
One of Southwest Florida’s last underdeveloped barrier islands, Barefoot Beach Preserve stretches across 342 acres that are teaming with wildlife and sea life. You can hike along the popular Saylor Nature Trail, which will carry you through forests of mangroves, sea grape trees, and Sable palms. You may also opt to spend time shelling, or sunbathing atop superb sands.
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