This is a 1/2 mile boardwalk trail in the Rookery Bay Estuary area. Is it something I’d drive specifically to Naples for? Nah. But it’s a nice walk if you’re in the area. There’s a nature center too but I’ve never been there while it was open. Take Collier Blvd south from Naples, turn right onto Shell Island Rd, follow the road for a bit, then you’ll see the parking area on the right. If you continue on Shell Island Rd you’ll eventually get to a dead end and water access point where I went on a kayak tour with Up a Creek Kayak (see my previous post Kayaking in Rookery Bay).
I’ve walked the boardwalk twice and haven’t seen much in terms of wildlife, but I’ve seen lots of dragonflies and birds. There’s an observation tower overlooking a lake about halfway through where people have written what they saw, including deer, tortoises, hawks, alligators, armadillo, and all kinds of other critters.
Again, don’t lose your mind over this walk, but do keep it in mind if you’re in the area. As with most places, you’ll have the most success seeing animals if you go early or late in the day before the stifling heat feels like being stuffed between Paul Bunyan’s butt cheeks.
Here is the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s website with more details: