COLLIER-SEMINOLE STATE PARK
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, 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. The picnic areas have pavilions and grills for use on a first-come-first-served basis. The park concession has a snack shop and boat tours-call (239) 642-8898. Located on U.S. 41, 17 miles south of Naples.
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 since the early 1800s. Because of the Tamiami Trail, the two are forever intertwined in the history of this area.
Collier-Seminole State Park covers what is historically known as Royal Palm Hammock. Here is found 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.
The Seminole and Miccosukee Indians settled in this area by 1840 and have remained here ever since. In 1841 and 1857 during the Second and Third Seminole Wars, efforts by the Army to drive them out failed, making the Seminoles and Miccosukee people in Florida known as the "Unconquered." The visitor center in the park is patterned after a blockhouse from the Seminole War era.
In the early 20th century, effort was made to build a roadway across the vast expanse of Big Cypress and the Everglades. This effort was begun, but was ended because of World War One and funding needed elsewhere. In the 1920's the state of Florida asked Barron Collier, a wealthy advertising entrepreneur and pioneer developer, to help fund and complete building of the Tamiami Trail. It was a monumental engineering feat to build the roadbed between Naples and Miami, but was finally completed in 1928.
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.
The Tamiami Trail that Collier built had a permanent effect on the Indians in the area. Collier's roadway exposed the formerly isolated Seminole and Miccosukees to American culture and economic activity. There are many villages along the trail and even within the confines of the park, where the people maintain their balance between modern society and traditional ways.
After building the Tamiami Trail, Barron Collier envisioned developing the Lincoln-Lee national park, but failed to get government support for his idea. The land became a county park, and by 1947 it was turned over to the state of Florida for management as a state park. Named in part for Collier and for the Seminole Indians who had made the area their home, Collier-Seminole State Park now stands as a monument to the natural environment and historical people that have shaped the landscape.
Camping is available at Collier-Seminole State Park year round. Reservations may be made up to eleven months in advance. One night's camping fee deposit will be required (credit card only must be canceled within 24 hours of check-in time for refund). For more information on camping in our park simply click on the Reserve America link. Clicking on the park map or selecting one of the camping area links just below the park map will allow you to see a map of the individual campsite locations. Select any campsite icon to see a detailed description of the individual campsite and what it has to offer.
Primitive camping is available along our canoe and hiking trails. Campers can experience true camping with no amenities. Space is limited. Check at ranger station for availability.
The park has two camping areas. One area contains 19 sites located in a wooded area and is popular for tents, vans, and popups. The other consists of 118 sites in an area more suited for RV's and also includes tent sites. All sites have electricity and all sites have a picnic table and a grill. Three bathhouses are located in the campground and are equipped with hot and cold showers. One bathhouse has a washer and dryer and another has an activity room with tables, chairs, brochure rack, and other reading material. The park has a youth camping area, a primitive camping area that is accessible from the park's hiking trail, and another primitive camping area accessible by canoe. The youth camp area can be reserved and the primitive camps are first come first serve.
Youth camping is available for youth groups i.e. Scouts, church, and schools. Youth camp area is primitive and will require some walking with food and water to get to the site. No showers and only privies are available.
The boat ramp will accommodate small to medium vessels during low tide and most boats during high tide. Please call for conditions.
Boat tours down the river are available through the concessionaire. For information and a departure schedule please call (941) 642-8898.
Canoeing & Kayaking
There is a 13.6-mile canoe trail that flows down the twisting Black Water River through a mangrove forest.