Copyright 2000-2014 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Collier County

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

From the Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda area, take I-75 south.  Take I-75 to Exit 111 (Naples Park, C.R. 846 - formerly exit 17) and exit east onto Immokalee Road.  Do NOT use Exit 123 (Corkscrew Road)!!!  Go approximately 15 miles and turn left onto Sanctuary Road (look for a large brown sign on the right and another at the intersection on the left).  Sanctuary Road makes a 90 degree left bend - stay on the paved road.  Go to the end of the paved road (approximately 1.5 miles).  Look for the entrance sign and turn right into the parking lot.

The entrance fee is $8 per person ($5 for Audubon members).  For more information, try their web site or call telephone number (239) 348-9151.

CREW Marsh Trails

The CREW Marsh Trail System consists of three interconnected trails. This trail system will lead you to the Corkscrew Marsh, a 5,000-acre sawgrass marsh that is the headwaters for the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW).  Click on map for a layout of the trails.

From the Punta Gorda / Port Charlotte area, take I-75 south.  Take Exit 138, S.R. 82, and head east for about 20 miles.  Turn right onto C.R. 850.  The entrance to the Marsh Trails is on the left, about 2 miles down the road.

Eagle Lakes Community Park

From the Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda area, take I-75 south.  Get off at Exit 101 and go south on CR 951.  At the 951 / US41 junction, turn right and go north on US 41 for about a mile.  The Park entrance will be on your right. Park near the sports field.  Note: There are rest room facilities.  There are three mitigation ponds that surround the sports complex.  Suggest you walk east until you arrive at a pond, then walk around the ponds.

Naples Waste Water Treatment Ponds

From the Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda area, take I-75 south.  Get off at Exit 111 and head west on Immokalee Road (SR 846); then turn left (south) onto Goodlette-Frank Road.  The Treatment Ponds are located on the east side of Goodlette-Frank Road between Vanderbilt Beach Road (to the south) and Immokalee Road (to the north).  Park well beyond the bridge/overpass and walk up on the overpass.  There are two ponds and a scope is usually required for viewing.  At certain times of the year, wading birds, shorebirds, and ducks can be observed in these ponds.  Fall and winter is the best time for birding this area.

Sugden Regional Park

If coming from Eagle Lakes Community Park, go north on US41 to Avalon Drive (next intersection north of Perkins restaurant).  Turn left into the Park.  If coming from I-75, use Exit 101 and turn south on CR 951.  Turn west (right) unto Davis Blvd.  At the junction of Davis Blvd and US 41, turn south/southeast on US41.  Turn right at Avalon Drive and proceed into the Park.  Once in the Park, turn right at the first stop sign and follow Avalon Drive all the way to the dead-end parking lot on the northwest side of Lake Avalon.  You will be near the grandstand where the Avalon Skimmers water-skiing team performs.  A paved path leads off to the west of the parking lot.  This path circles Lake Avalon.  The best birding is on the west side of the lake.  Note: The Park has rest room facilities.

Tigertail Beach

Tigertail Beach is located on the northwest corner of Marco Island.  From the Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda area, take I-75 south.  Get off at Exit 101 and follow SR 951 south onto Marco Island.  Continue on 951 for a few blocks and turn right at Tigertail Ct, or, if you pass this street, turn right at Kendall Drive.  Then turn left onto Hernado Drive.  It will dead end at Tigertail Beach, a Collier County Park.  There is a $4.00 per vehicle parking fee.  Walk a short distance and you will be on the "lagoon side" of the beach.  You will find many types of wading birds and shore birds on both sides of the lagoon.  (For a map, click here. Tigertail Beach is identified as B11 on the map.)