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Trip report: November 2011

Collier-Seminole State Park Kayaking...

Blackwater River and Mud Bay

Collier-Seminole State Park 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. We saw several flocks of roseate spoonbills, and as the tide came in, many feeding dolphin. It varies, but up-river like this, the tide turns about 2-hours later than on the Gulf. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Paddle Collier-Seminole State Park, kayak, canoe, Florida

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)
Nearby points of interest: Marco Island, Everglades National Park


Collier-Seminole Nature Tours  (park concessionaire, rentals, tours)

Support and Advocacy:

Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park

Blackwater River and Mud Bay... Comments and Photos

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!). 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.

Blackwater River

We paddled on Blackwater River to Mud Bay. Trail markers mark the trail, winding through mangrove estuaries and salt marsh preserves.

Separate channel markers mark the way to Blackwater Bay - 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.

Mud Bay

Mud Bay can be impassable at low tide. Trips should be timed to high tide - you might even see dolphin!

More Information and Resources

About Collier-Seminole State Park:

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).

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