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Picayune Strand State Forest

11 Reviews
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Picayune Strand State Forest

11 Reviews
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2121 52nd Ave SE, Naples, FL 34117-2608
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William W wrote a review Jul 2020
St. Petersburg, Florida944 contributions570 helpful votes
We live in St. Pete and since the start of Covid this is our first road trip. We are staying in Napes for a week. When looking at Google Map of the area, I saw this forest list. Normally I would check TripAdvisor reviews before heading to a new place but for some reason didn't this time. We agree with the not so favorable reviews for the sole reason that we like parks and forest areas where there are paved walking trails, picnic pavillions, grilles, etc. Obviously upon arrival and driving down the dirt roads for a bit we learned this was not our type of place. We are sure it is great for those into hiking and getting back to basic, rustic nature.
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Norman C wrote a review Oct 2019
Fort Myers, Florida151 contributions40 helpful votes
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We drove through on Everglades Pkwy and Leonard blvd. It is mostly two-lane dirt roads. The only drawback to the day was that the fakahatchee Strand Preserve manager had taken it upon himself to illegally close the road so we could not go through. They are in the process of returning this forest to its original state and reintroducing sheet flow so as to nurture Florida Bay and the Thousand Islands area. We saw many wading birds including large and small egrets, storks, ibis, juvenile ibis, and roseate spoonbills. We also saw hawks and egrets. As I enjoy photographing all things large and small, I did not want for subject matter. There are no facilities in this area of the forest. There are walking trails off Sable Road but that is a section we did not visit. We will return to both areas.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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SBoucheron wrote a review May 2019
18 contributions11 helpful votes
Palm trees and nature are beautiful, there are plenty of birds, deers, etc. A ranger told us they also regularly see bears but we never saw one. We enjoy going there to ride our bikes because it's very quiet and roads are easy to access in winter. In summer roads can be flooded so I would not recommend to go from June to October. In winter there are fires but most of them are controlled. Last, check when hunting season is open before you go. Sometimes it feels a bit eerie as you can spend hours without seen anyone... and most important, wildlife can be dangerous, so you must be cautious. Once we faced a large wild bull on the road and we also encountered a big rattlesnake, so stay on the roads and pay attention. I would never go camping, but for a walk (or ride) of a couple of hours it's worth going there to discover a very unusual part of Florida.
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Date of experience: January 2019
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debmce2624 wrote a review Jan 2019
9 contributions4 helpful votes
We drove to the forest on Everglades Blvd andpaid our fee at 52nd street. Luckily we had our SUV since the roads are terrible. We had hoped to hilke Sabal Palm but there are very few “road” signs and the whole place is very creepy. We took folklores the map across Miller “Road” to Office Shortcut but we decided to turns around. It was raining and there were signs saying Impassable during High Water. We have had a month of wonderful and varied adventures in this part of Florida until this trip. Do not go. There is something eerie about the entire park with roads that are Beverly rutted and suddenly end. The gates should remain closed to the public. I had to give 1 star to submit this review but it deserves no stars. And don’t rely on GPS as it’s useless here.
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Date of experience: January 2019
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Jeanne T wrote a review Jan 2019
2 contributions
As a new winter resident of Naples, I love to explore the back country on my mountain bike. The roads and forest trails at Picayune are a great place to get away from the urban scene in Naples. There are multiple entry points, three in widely separate areas of Naples , and one in the back country that connects with Fakahatchee Strand Preserve near Everglades City. To promote the Picayune one of the foresters offers guided mountain bike rides one a month. They are woefully understaffed at the park, but, they love and promote its huge potential for recreational fun. It’s one of the few places in Florida for bird watchers to find and enjoy viewing the red cockaded woodpecker. With the staffs help, I found and biked to two different RCW habitats and was rewarded with viewing several RCW’s. The history of the park is quite interesting in that it was originally land that was part of a scam to sell “swampland in Florida. You can read about it on the state parks website. There is a maze of limestone roads that were originally destined to be a residential community. Luckily, the scam went bust, the state bought the land back and is restoring the natural water flow. The bird watching and fishing in and near the pump stations is super. Locals fish in the canals deep in the park, catching tarpon and snook. I spend a great deal of time there and recommend it to those who enjoy exploring the Florida wilderness.
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Date of experience: December 2018
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