5 Scenic Hiking & Walking Trails in Naples, Florida
For those who love the outdoors, moving to a new area can leave them wondering where the best hiking and leisure trails may be. People who've had the chance to buy homes in Naples, Florida, are especially eager to get outside and explore this gorgeous vacation destination.
While the area might be well known for its fantastic beaches, stunning waterfront homes, and fantastic shopping venues, there's still an abundance of peaceful walking trails. The Everglades provide unique native plants and wildlife, while the heart of the city has serene walking trails that wind through the best neighborhoods in Naples. There's truly something for everyone to enjoy.
Finding a good trail for your needs doesn't have to be a guessing game. Keep reading to explore the best hiking and walking trails in Naples.
Stroll the Gordon River Greenway
One of the most popular trails in Naples is the Gordon River Greenway.
This 2.8-mile trail cuts through a 140-acre park and consists of a boardwalk, mulched paths, and even paved asphalt tracks. With river views and a well-maintained trail, this is a favorite for walkers, joggers, cyclists, roller-bladers, and skateboarders of all skill levels.
The park has no entrance fee and is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. The trail is also a favorite for bird-watching enthusiasts, as the corridor that passes by the river provides plenty of opportunities to watch native and migratory birds.
You can also head to the Gordon River Greenway with canoes and kayaks, as it has a few small launches. Other park features include scenic overlooks, informational signs about native plant life, picnic shelters, fishing bridges, playgrounds, restrooms, and water fountains.
Your furry friends can also join you on your walk, provided they are leashed, and you clean up after your pets.
Located in the city's center, either from Golden Gate Parkway or the nearby Naples Zoo parking lot, this is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts and casual walkers alike.
Hike the CREW Bird Rookery Swamp Trail
The CREW Bird Rookery Swamp Trail is a perfect choice for those interested in a more challenging hiking trail.
CREW Bird Rookery Swamp is a part of the 50,000-acre Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. Located 13 miles inland from the city center, this is one of the top outdoor attractions in Naples.
This 12-mile loop will give you some of the best natural environments that Florida has to offer. The cypress-maple swamps and the native wildlife like ibis, wading birds, and, of course, alligators will let you experience an authentic Florida setting.
Perfect for biking and hiking, the CREW Bird Rookery Swamp has free parking and portable toilets at the entrance.
While the trail is groomed, it is still a natural wildlife environment, and hiking the entire loop takes about 5-7 hours on average. There are a few essential things to keep in mind while on the trail:
- Never approach alligators or any other wildlife
- Carry water with you on the hike
- Take bug spray with you as the insect cover can be heavy
- Bring a camera and binoculars to view and capture the spectacular views and wildlife
Walk to Gulf Views at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
The Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples is one of the 175 state parks in Florida and offers an easy yet beautiful hiking trail for all outdoor enthusiasts.
The 3-mile loop goes right through one of Naples' best beaches and gives you access to one of the most beautiful pieces of coast you might ever come across, with views of the Gulf of Mexico and the famous white-sand beaches.
The trail offers a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, tortoises, and sea creatures. While popular with walkers, this park is also perfect for those who want to swim, fish, and picnic. You can also explore the shallows for seashells, no matter the time of day. However, keep in mind that it is against the law to take shells that have living creatures inside. Make sure your shells are empty before collecting.
A non-designated trail runs parallel to the beach and another hiking point that heads towards the park's Observation Tower at the north end. The path runs on a boardwalk through the trees and passes the shoreline.
Other park features include food vendors in the parking lot, fishing areas, outdoor showers, restrooms, and sightseeing.
The park has an admission fee of $6/car and can become very busy during peak hours. Early in the morning or later at night are the best times to have an undisturbed trip.
Observe Nature at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
The Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a glimpse into Florida's untouched landscape.
This park trail is 2.25-miles long on a boardwalk that passes through wetlands, pinelands, and the largest old bald-cypress forest in North America, with some trees up to 600 years old. The sanctuary is also one of the most world-renowned birding sites, with over 200 species to identify.
The sanctuary also has other wildlife, including alligators, otters, deer, and turtles. It is also one of the few places in the entire United States where you can try and spot the Ghost Orchid, one of the rarest plants in the state.
The entire trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible and is family-friendly with plenty of benches and rain shelters. Everyone must first pass through the visitor's center before taking the route. In the center, you can learn about the swamp and view exhibits and art galleries. You can also book tours from here.
The sanctuary has an admissions cost of $17 for general admission, with children under 6 getting in free. Advanced reservations are required: there are no walk-ins at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
Find 4 Trails at Collier-Seminole State Park
The Naples' Collier-Seminole State Park is located in one of the most extensive mangrove swamps in the world and has four popular trail options, including:
- The Royal Palm Hammock Trail: 0.9 miles
- The Flatwoods Trail: 3 miles
- The Prairie Hammock Trail: 3.5 miles
- The Stand Swamp Trail: 5.25 miles
The entire park is made for hiking and biking, and the park offers bike rentals for those who want to explore the wetland and forest environments.
Like most trails in the Naples, Florida area, there are plenty of opportunities to find wildlife, including deer, tortoises, wading birds, Florida black bears, and even rare Florida panthers or red-cockaded woodpeckers. Bringing a camera to capture nature is a must.
The park also features areas for camping that have electricity and water hookups, grills, and picnic tables. There are public restrooms and shower areas, along with boat ramps and canoe rentals. Admission to the park is $5/vehicle.
Ready to Hit the Trails in Naples?
While Naples, Florida, might be most famous for luxury homes and beautiful coastal views, there's plenty more than meets the eye. The trails in the area are some of the best in the state, and everyone from experienced hikers to casual walkers will enjoy themselves. The only thing left to do is explore!