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|COLLIER-SEMINOLE STATE PARK
In the early 1940's, Barron Collier, a wealthy advertising entrepreneur and developer, made plans to design a park. By 1947, the land Collier had chosen was turned over to the state of Florida for management as a state park. Named in part for Collier and for the Seminole Indians who had made the area their home, Collier-Seminole State Park was opened to the public.
The 6,430 acres that make up Collier-Seminole State Park feature a wealth of vegetation and wildlife that is typical of the Everglades region of Florida. One special feature of the park is a tropical hammock dominated by trees that are characteristic of coastal forests of the West Indies and Yucatan. The rare Florida royal palm is a common species here. Much of the park is extensive mangrove swamp. Also found in the park are cypress swamps, salt marshes and pine flatwoods which further add to the park's botanical diversity.
Many species of wildlife have been seen in the park, including several of the state's threatened and endangered species. The brown pelican, wood stork, bald eagle, red-cocaded woodpecker, American crocodile, Florida black bear and Big Cypress fox squirrels are among the animals that make the park their home. The official state animal, the Florida panther, and the official state marine mammal, the West Indian manatee, may also be seen occasionally.
Bay City dredge
Collier-Seminole is home to a 4,760 acre wilderness preserve located in the mangrove swamp. The preserve is a prime example of how this region looked before the arrival of the first European explorers. A limited number of visitors are allowed to visit the preserve each day by canoe. It is a 13.5 mile canoe trip to the preserve which offers primitive camping for overnight stays.
A 6.5-mile hiking trail winds through pine flatwoods and cypress swamp, allowing visitors to observe the great variety of vegetation and wildlife found at the park. A self-guided nature trail featuring a boardwalk system and observation platform overlooking the salt marsh is also available. Additional exhibits of plants and wildlife may be seen in the park's Interpretive Center.
Artifacts noting the final campaigns of the Second Seminole War are displayed, including a replica of a blockhouse used by US forces and local defenders during that era. One of the "walking dredges" used to build the Tamiami Trail during the 1920s is on exhibit.
Tent and RV camping is available at Collier-Seminole State Park. Fishing, boating and canoeing are popular activities at the handicapped-accessible park where the Blackwater River flows through the park allowing access to the Ten Thousand Islands and the Gulf of Mexico.
Boat tours down the river are available from the concessionaire.
Collier-Seminole State Park is located 17 miles south of Naples on U.S. 41.
For more information on the park, write to:
Collier-Seminole State Park
20200 E. Tamiami Trail
Naples, FL 33961
or call: (941) 394-3397
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