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Trip report: Dec. 2016

Rookery Bay Reserve... Shell Point Paddling Trail

Shell Point Paddling Trail was created by the Friends of Rookery Bay at the lagoon at the end of Shell Island Road. Mostly an easy paddle, there are some narrow sections through the mangrove that require some manuevering. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Rookery Bay, South FL paddling

Distance: 2 miles
Location: Collier County
Difficulty: East to Moderate
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: End of Shell Road (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Marco Island, Naples, The Everglades

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

Up a Creek Kayak (rentals/tours)

Rookery Bay National Estuarian Aquatic Reserve (tours)

Support and Advocacy:

Friends of Rookery Bay

Rookery Bay Reserve... Comments and Photos

18 markers line the trail - we highly recommend following the markers as it would be very easy to get lost in the mangrove. Paddling against the incoming tide was especially challenging through some narrow channels in the mangrove.


Shell Point Paddling Trail

We launched from the end of Shell Island Road and paddled the designated Paddling Trail developed by the Friends of Rookery Bay. We also spotted some dolphins.

Launch to marker #3

Paddle through a lagoon to the Bay. On the Bay, bear right past the boat tour dock; look for the trail markers. Toward marker 2, wide bay.


 

Markers #3-15

After marker #3, trail winds through mangrove lined channels.

 

Marker #15 - return to launch

After marker 15, onto bigger water; the longer distances between markers make them harder to see. The Children's Column at Monument Point is a tribute recognizing the efforts of school children in the 1960's who helped raise funds for purchasing lands to preserve Rookery Bay against a road construction project.


Side creek off the paddling trail

Look for the mouth of the creek between trail markers #7 and 8, this was a pleasant diversion. Narrow and mostly shaded through mangrove. The creek started fairly wide, getting narrower and with more obstacles before petering out.

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