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Padding at Collier-Seminole State Park - Blackwater River and Mud Bay

Partially within The Everglades, Collier-Seminole State Park also contains one of only three original strands of royal palm in Florida. The 13.6 mile paddling trail along the Blackwater River includes scenic but sometimes impassable Mud Bay. (Detailed map, photos and more description below.)



View Larger Map
Distance: 13.6 mile paddling trail
Location: Collier County (US41-Tamiami Trail)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Tidal: Yes
Launch point: At the State Park boat ramp (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: Ranger Station at Park  (link, above right)
Nearby points of interest:
Marco Island, Everglades National Park

The paddling trail includes the river, open bays, and creeks to explore. Filing a float plan is required. Paddling the entire 13.6 mile trail may require camping; the approved campsite is at Grocery Place (reservations needed, bring bug spray!). Mud Bay can be impassable at low tide. The park wilderness is mostly mangrove swamp, but also hardwood forest, coastal strand, and salt-marsh. Watch for wildlife including alligators, raccoons, otters, manatees, dolphins, birds, wading birds, and fish.

The adventurous paddler can follow the Blackwater River out to the Gulf to explore the islands, or continue on to the Ten Thousand Islands and Wilderness Waterway.

Collier-Seminole State Park, has camping, hiking, off-road biking, fishing, playground, and picnicking. Canoe rentals are available at the ranger station, and guided boat tours are available. 4,760 of the total 6,430 acres are designated as wilderness areas. Of historical interest (try this for a trivia question), the park has a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark - the last existing Bay City Walking Dredge which was used to build the Tamiami Trail (US 41).

Paddling at Seminole-Collier State Park
(hover over photo for larger view)
Blackwater River
Paddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, CanoePaddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, CanoePaddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, CanoePaddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, CanoePaddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, Canoe
Blackwater River
Paddling Trail
Directional markers
along the trail
Into the mangrove Blue Heron
Mud Bay
Paddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, CanoePaddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, CanoePaddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, CanoePaddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, CanoePaddle Everglades, Mud Lake - Kayak, Canoe
At low tide, we see how
Mud Bay got its name
The tide was coming in and we wondered
what was splashing - dolphin!

Also visit us here: Bicycling in The Everglades

More information on paddling at Collier-Seminole State Park (opens in a new window):

- Florida State Parks - Collier-Seminole State Park
- Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection - Blackwater River/Royal Palm Hammock Designated Paddling Trail (pdf)

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