|Florida Nature: Collier-Seminole State Park|
State Park is a Florida State Park located on US 41, 17 miles south of
Naples, Florida. The 6,243-acre Collier-Seminole State Park takes its
name from two people who made their mark upon this land, forever
changing it. Barron Collier was a wealthy entrepreneur who financed the
building of the Tamiami Trail and purchased the land for this park, and
the Seminole and
Miccosukee Indians who have resided in this area the last couple
centuries. Because of the Tamiami Trail, the two are forever intertwined
in the history of this area. Many Indians whose ancestors fought in the
Second Seminole War still live in the area.
This park features a wealth of vegetation and wildlife typical of the Everglades, plus a forest made up of tropical trees. Although rare elsewhere, the Florida royal palm is a common tree here. The park is also the site of a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark which was dedicated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1994, the Bay City Walking Dredge. Built in 1924, it was used to build the Tamiami Trail highway (U.S. 41) through the Everglades, linking Tampa to Miami. Hiking, bicycling, and canoeing trails offer opportunities for visitors to explore the park´s remarkable wilderness. The park has canoe rentals along with a boat ramp that provides access to the Blackwater River, where anglers can enjoy both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Campers can spend the night in a full-facility campground; youth/group and primitive campsites are also available.
Collier-Seminole State Park covers what is historically known as Royal Palm Hammock. Here is one of three original native stands of Royal Palms in the state of Florida, resembling the coastal forests of the West Indies and Yucatan. The park also extends down to the Ten Thousand Islands and includes mangrove river estuaries and salt marsh preserves that are favorite habitats for wading birds.
Self-guiding and conducted walks on the nature trail, which is 6.5 miles long, reveal an interesting environment common to the coastal areas of Yucatan and the West Indies. Here too is the the rare Florida Royal Palm with it's distinctive lime-green upper trunk. The mangrove and cypress swamps, pine flatwoods, tidal creeks, and salt marshes shelter a broad range of wildlife.
A .9 mile nature trail features a boardwalk system and observation platform that overlooks the salt marsh. The observation platform permits an elevated view of ospreys, spoonbills, bald eagles, red-cockaded woodpeckers, wood storks, and other colorful birds. With patience and luck you might even glimpse the Florida black bear, or the manatee, which have been observed a few times a year.
A 13.6-mile canoe trail that flows down the Blackwater River through a mangrove forest allows visitors to explore the area all the way to the northernmost tip of of the Ten Thousand Islands. Canoes may be brought in or rented here. The rivers and bays provide chances to fish for snook, snapper, and redfish.
A replica of an 1840s blockhouse serves as an interpretive center, with photo exhibits of native plants and animals and a review of Mr. Collier's achievements as a pioneering developer in the area. In the summer campfire slideshows outline park activities.
Inside the park is the Bay City Walking Dredge, used to construct the roadway that now passes by the front entrance of the park. In 1994 this now-silent machine was designated as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
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Collier-Seminole State Park Florida
Collier-Seminole State Park is a Florida State Park located 17 miles south of Naples. Floridian nature abounds with a wealth of vegetation and wildlife typical of the Everglades, plus a forest made up of tropical trees.
Collier-Seminole State Park offer both self-guiding and conducted walks on the nature trail, which is 6.5 miles long, reveal an interesting environment common to the coastal areas of Yucatan and the West Indies. The rare Florida Royal Palm with it's distinctive lime-green upper trunk is a Floridian nature gem.
Written by: Floridian Nature
Collier-Seminole State Park
Date published: 10/22/2013
3 / 5 stars