Why isn’t Bird Rookery Swamp Open? – and other FAQ’s

Anne here. Yes, that Anne – the one that answers the Facebook messages at all hours of the day and night, the one that chats you up on the phone when you call to ask me if BRS is open. I want to tell you that it’s open – I do. It breaks my heart to know I’m breaking your heart. And when you are mad- and a lot of you are – I want to give you a cookie and tell you it will be okay. Because it will. We’re all just in Bird Rookery Swamp Withdrawal – all of us, even the staff and volunteers.

Of course you can still call me at the office, or Facebook message me – some of you are becoming quite good friends of mine – but in the meantime, here are a few answers to our Frequently Asked Questions about the closure of Bird Rookery Swamp.

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

WHY is Bird Rookery Swamp Closed?

This is an important question, and one we have to address right away. It’s come to our attention thanks to some of the fence-hoppers (we’ll chat about y’all in a hot minute) that the public perception is that the boardwalk is barricaded and big NO ENTRY signs are up because the trails are wet, like they always are this time of year, and we don’t want you to get wet feet.

We love wet feet. And we know our die-hard Bird Rookery Swamp friends do as well.

The trails are wet, just as they always are this time of year – okay, maybe a BIT more wet than usual. But the reason the trail is shut down at the end of the boardwalk is hazardous conditions due to contractors working on the trail to fix washouts.

Working with BIG LOUD DANGEROUS machinery and they can’t see anything around them, so the trail was closed for the safety of all involved.

Why are there so many washouts, and what is a washout?

The trail at Bird Rookery Swamp should not be there.

WHAT?

Bird Rookery Swamp is at the very bottom of the 60,000-acre watershed. And when the area was logged for cypress, the tram was built to hold the railroad, blocking the natural flow of water. Every single year when the water flows south, we have blow-outs on the trail, and we slap a band-aid on (a gravel band-aid) and fill it in, then wait for the next rainy season to blow out different areas.

Add in a hurricane and we’ve got a lot more washouts than usual and some of the old ones became dangerous deep-water crossings. The one by Ida’s pond was waist deep on me (Anne) two weeks after the hurricane and the water was flowing pretty hard as I stood there and tried to trim back part of a tree that fell. 

So. We have washouts. We will continue to have washouts. We just had a lot more than normal this rainy season. And all the washouts need to be repaired so you can hike, bike and enjoy the entire loop.

Why is this taking so LONNNNNNNGGGGG?

Water. The trails are wet. The big, heavy machinery will do a lot of damage to the really wet sections, or get stuck. So wet trail conditions are delaying the project. But every week the contractor is checking on the trails, and it is drying up – so we keep our fingers crossed.

You OTTER be fixing these trails!

Why can’t you just open up the first part? It looks fixed.

Remember how I talked about the heavy machinery? Well, it made deep ruts in that first section, and those need to be smoothed out for the safety of our guests and visitors. And, to get that machinery in, the trails need to dry up.

Also – I, or we, the CREW Trust – cannot open or close trails. The South Florida Water Management District manages the lands within the CREW Project, and most of those are public lands (which is why there is no charge to park or visit the trail). We – the CREW Trust- are the non-profit that provides environmental education for all ages on the trails. We also do our best to raise awareness about the watershed by telling people about the trail systems through Facebook and this website. WE cannot open or close the trails – only the District, our partner agency, can do that.

If I can’t go to Bird Rookery Swamp to ride my bike/hike/walk my dog/take photos of awesome wildlife, where can I go?

There are two trail systems off of Corkscrew Road, just a quick fifteen minute drive east of I-75. The CREW Marsh Trails is the only trail system within the CREW Project that is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, and the Cypress Dome Trails is our least-visited trails BUT has the most active wildlife according to sightings by hikers.

I saw a bear there about two months ago – my first sighting of a bear on one of the CREW Trails. 

You can hike, go birding, walk your dog and/or take photos at either trail system. Bikers, head to the Cypress Dome Trails. 100% of the Marsh Trails are clear, thanks to Jessi and a lot of FGCU student volunteers. The Cypress Dome Trails are mostly clear, except for the Wild Coffee Trail, which is the back part of the white trail. CREW Trust staff and volunteers are slowly clearing that by hand and waiting for it to dry up to continue working.

Can I volunteer and help clean up Bird Rookery Swamp so it gets open sooner?

I wish you could. I wish I could. But the District is in charge of this project, so we respect their closure and try to wait patiently.

If you do like to clear trails, please volunteer! We will have trail clean-ups in preparation for the opening of Flint Pen Strand for the public. We also have a great group of volunteers – please fill out an application if you are interested.

What happens if I just hop the fence?

Well, that’s a bad idea. We’ve already been told of one rescue by Collier County deputies of a hiker who hopped the fence and then needed assistance in the back part of the trails. The District also has signs posted that say the trail is closed; FWC Law Enforcement says it is a $50 fine if/when you are caught.

From a purely personal standpoint – we, your friendly staff at the CREW Trust, worry about your safety. Please respect the closure and try to wait patiently for it to re-open so we can see you soon at our guided walks and programs.

 

Bike the 12 mile loop at Bird Rookery Swamp

Bike Tours at Bird Rookery Swamp

Friday, January 8, 2016 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PMBike the loop

 

Start the New Year off on the right “pedal” and bike Bird Rookery Swamp in Naples Florida. Join CREW Trust volunteer Peter Tomlinson for this exciting guided bicycle tour of the full 12-mile loop at Bird Rookery Swamp.

Activity Level: Strenuous

This is a trail ride on uneven, soft, grassy/sandy trails. Ground level with swamp on both sides of the trail. View beautiful scenery, great wildlife, and enjoy the company of like-minded souls.

BRING YOUR OWN BICYCLE: Mountain, hybrid or fat tire bikes are recommended. Not appropriate for road bicycles. CREW does NOT provide bikes for this tour.

Participants MUST be able to bike for 3 to 4 hours, stopping for short breaks every few miles.

Participants MUST wear a helmet, bring flat-tire repair gear, bring and carry their own water, snacks/lunch, sun/rain protection, insect repellent. No SAG support will be provided (no repair support).

Camera, binoculars optional.

No restrooms are available after the start of the ride.

Space is limited to first 12 riders to register. Registration is required.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bike-tours-at-bird-rookery-swamp-registration-18638614598

What you can do at CREW 2015-2016!

laura write up picture

Just in case you missed Laura Tichy-Smith’s great article on CREW Field Trips, here is what you need to know. The article titled “Field Trip” was released October 25th, 2015 in The News-Press Coastal Life. laura write up picture

  • We have 2 free primitive campsites with grills, picnic tables, and fire rings. Get your permit here: https://crewtrus.mystagingwebsite.com/2011/08/11/camping/
  • All events require registration through the CREW website or by phone 239-657-2253.
  •  Guided walks at the CREW Marsh Trail Start at 9 a.m.-noon on First and third Tuesday and second Saturday monthly (November- April)
  • Guided walks at Bird Rookery Swamp start at 9-11:30 a.m. every Wednesday and fourth Saturday monthly (November-April). As well as in the afternoons: 1:30-4 p.m. first
    Sunday monthly (November- April)
  • Our Strolling Science Seminars cost: $25 non-members; $15 CREW members. They are adult only:
    • Dec. 4: Dendrochronology (tree coring science) with Dr. Disturbance by Dr. Win Everham, FGCU
    • Saturday, Jan. 16: Snake in the grass: Not always a bad guy by Dr. John Herman, FGCU
    • Saturday, Feb. 6: Birding with the master by Dr. Bernie Master (international conservationist)
    • Friday March 11: Adaptation or extinction: The lives of CREW’s
      most interesting plants by Jack Berninger
  • Other specialty hikes:
    • Nature’s peace at CREW: A nature walk for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients at 10:30 a.m.-noon on the First Mondays monthly (November-April)
    • Get your vitamin N: A nature walk for families at 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Dec. 5
      and Saturday, March 19
    • Bike tours at Bird Rookery Swamp at 8 a.m.-noon on Friday, Jan. 8 and Friday, Feb. 12. You must provide own bicycle, and helmet.
    • CREW Concert & Silent Eco-Auction at 5-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. Located at Riverside Park, 27300 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs
    • Spring wildflower walk with Roger Hammer at 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, April 2
  • We have 2 member-only events, you can sign up to be a member and get discounts on all events at https://crewtrus.mystagingwebsite.com/become-a-member/
    • Wine and Cheese Social on Thursday, Jan. 21
    • Campfire and S’mores Social on Thursday, Feb. 25

To see the full article visit: http://www.news-press.com/story/life/coastal-life/2015/10/24/crew-offers-recreational-opportunities/74490760/

Thank you Laura Tichy-Smith for such a great article

A View of CREW by Dick Brewer

Map of CREW

Below are first hand observations from our volunteer Dick Brewer.  This is a special week as we are luck to get Dick’s observations from all three trail systems. If you would like to see more of his observations visit: http://www.dickbrewer.org/CREW.html

Red Rat Snake By Dick Brewer
Red Rat Snake By Dick Brewer

 

Monday, May 11                           Marsh Trails-  6:45 am-8:30                        Cypress Dome 8:35am-10:30

 

Great Egret………………………………………………… 6………………………………………………………………

Black Vulture……………………………………………… 3………………………………………………………….. 25

Turkey Vulture……………………………… …………….. ……………………………………………………………. 2

Swallow-tailed Kite………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………. 5

Red-shouldered Hawk………………………………… 3……………………………………………………………. 5

Barred Owl………………………………….. …………….. ……………………………………………………………. 1

Limpkin………………………………………… …………… 1………………………………………………………………

Sand Hill Crane…………………………………………… 2………………………………………………………………

Mourning Dove…………………………………………. 11………………………………………………………….. 10

Red-bellied Woodpecker……………………………… 5……………………………………………………………. 5

Great-crested Flycatcher………………. …………… 1……………………………………………………………. 4

Blue Jay………………………………………. …………… 3……………………………………………………………. 2

Tufted Titmouse……………………………. …………… 1………………………………………………………………

Carolina Wren………………………………. …………… 4……………………………………………………………. 1

White-eyed Vireo……………………………………….. 5………………………………………………………………

Northern Cardinal……………………………………… 24………………………………………………………….. 10

Common Grackle………………………………………… 4………………………………………………………………

BUTTERFLIES & MOTHS

Common Buckeye…………………………. …………… 1……………………………………………………………. 1

Great Southern White……………………. …………… 2……………………………………………………………. 8

White Peacock……………………………… …………….. ……………………………………………………………. 2

Viceroy……………………………………….. …………… 2………………………………………………………………

Zebra Longwing…………………………… …………….. ……………………………………………………………. 1

Giant Swallowtail…………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………. 2

Pearl Crescent……………………………… …………… 1………………………………………………………………

Tropical Checker………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………. 1

Bella Moth (Utetheisa bella)…………… …………….. ……………………………………………………………. 3

DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES

Halloween Pennant………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………. 1

Regal Darner……………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………. 1

Blue Dasher…………………………………. …………….. ……………………………………………………………. 3

Needham’s Skimmer……………………………………… ……………………………………………………………. 7

Eastern Pondhawk……………………………………….. ………………………………………………………….. 13

Citrine Forktail………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………. 1

Carolina Saddlebags…………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………. 2

OTHER

White-tailed Deer………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………. 1

Squirrel Treefrog………………………………………. 14………………………………………………………….. 14

Pinewoods Treefrog…………………………………. 10……………………………………………………………. 3

Green Greefrog……………………………. …………. 33……………………………………………………………. 4

Cuban Treefrog………………………………………….. 3……………………………………………………………. 4

Greenhouse Frog……………………………………….. 2………………………………………………………………

Red Rat Snake……………………………… …………….. ……………………………………………………………. 1

Brown Anole……………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………. 6

Grass Pink and Pine Pink Orchids by Dick Brewer
Grass Pink and Pine Pink Orchids by Dick Brewer

 

 


Red Shouldered Hawk By Dick Brewer
Red Shouldered Hawk By Dick Brewer

Bird Rookery Swamp observations
Saturday, May 16 ~ 7:30 am-1:15 pm

BIRDS
Anhinga – 1
Great Egret – 6
Tri-colored Heron – 1
Black-crowned Night Heron – 1
White Ibis – 1
Black Vulture – 22
Turkey Vulture – 23
Red-shouldered Hawk – 18
Common Ground Dove – 11
Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 3
Barred Owl – 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 22
Pileated Woodpecker – 2
Great-crested Flycatcher – 3
Blue Jay – 2
Tufted Titmouse – 11
Carolina Wren – 23
White-eyed Vireo – 9
Northern Parula – 5
Northern Cardinal – 28
Common Grackle – 2

BUTTERFLIES
Palamedes Swallowtail – 6
Spicebush Swallowtail – 1
Ruddy Daggerwing – 16
White Peacock – 55
Viceroy – 5
Great Southern White – 5
Tropical Checker – 1

DRAGONFLIES

Barred Owls By Dick Brewer
Barred Owls By Dick Brewe

Eastern Pondhawk – 46
Needham’s Skimmer – 3
Roseate Skimmer – 11
Halloween Pennant – 2
Eastern Amberwing – 2
Carolina Saddlebags – 1

OTHER
White-tailed Deer – 2
Alligator – 87
Brown Anole – 7
Soft-shelled Turtle – 1
Water Moccasin – 1
Green Treefrog – 56
Squirrel Treefrog – 4
Cuban Treefrog – 3
Greenhouse Frog – 8

A View of Bird Rookery Swamp- May 2, 2015

Below are first hand observations from our volunteer Dick Brewer. Who does weekly visits to Bird Rookery Swamp and very week sends us incredible stories of the magical 12 mile loop. If you would like to see more of his observations visit: http://www.dickbrewer.org/CREW.html
barred owl
By Dick Brewer
“Water levels are down more, even after the recent rains. Consequently, gator and wading bird numbers are down too. 

One Roseate Spoonbill spent most of the day at Ida’s Pond, so visitors coming in had a spoonbill, Banded Water Snake, gators, Anhingas, Red-bellied Turtle, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, and Great Egrets to greet them.

The “hot spot” for the day was past marker 2 where the barbed wire fence ends and a service road splits to the left. There’s a depressionnat the junction of the main tram and the service road where a River Otter spent time catching and eating Crayfish that were left. A young
Barred Owl was in a cypress overhead, and while I was talking with four women who were enjoying the otter and owl, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo called from behind us. Later, hikers and bikers all commented about the otter and owl, so it was a great day for everyone.

The tram between markers 6 and 3 hasn’t been mowed recently, so the higher grasses are attracting lots of butterfly species, especially skippers”.

otter
By Dick Brewer

Bird Rookery Swamp observations
Saturday, May 2 ~ 7:15 am-1:30 pm

BIRDS
Anhinga – 11
Great Blue Heron – 2
Great Egret – 6
Snowy Egret – 4
Little Blue Heron – 3
Tri-colored Heron – 1
Black-crowned Night Heron – 3
White Ibis – 1
Roseate Spoonbill – 1
Wood Stork – 8
Black Vulture – 44
Turkey Vulture – 18
Red-shouldered Hawk – 11
Common Ground Dove – 6
Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 1
Barred Owl – 1
Belted Kingfisher – 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 15
Downy Woodpecker – 2
Pileated Woodpecker – 4
Great-crested Flycatcher – 6
Blue Jay – 2
American Crow – 1
Tufted Titmouse – 7
Carolina Wren – 11
White-eyed Vireo – 14
Northern Cardinal – 23
Common Grackle – 6

BUTTERFLIES
Palamedes Swallowtail – 5
Tiger Swallowtail – 1
Zebra Longwing – 2
Ruddy Daggerwing – 7
White Peacock – 58
Red Admiral – 1
Viceroy – 2
Queen – 1
Monarch – 1
Great Southern White – 12
Tropical Checker – 6
Whirlabout – 1
Twin-spotted Skipper – 1
Delaware Skipper – 1

OTHER
Raccoon – 1
River Otter – 1
White-tailed Deer – 1
Alligator – 84
Brown Anole – 12
Red-bellied Turtle – 7
Banded Water Snake – 1
Pig Frog – 3
Green Treefrog – 5
Cuban Treefrog – 2
Great Blue Skimmer – 1
Needham’s Skimmer – 2
Eastern Pondhawk – 85
Gar – 28

 By Dick Brewer

Great Blue Skimmer
By Dick Brewer

Wildflie Q&A: Florida Black Bears

A Florida Black Bear looks, listens, and sniffs the air. By Dick Brewer

Q: What should people do if they see a black bear on one of the trails?

A Florida Black Bear looks, listens, and sniffs the air. By Dick Brewer
A Florida Black Bear looks, listens, and sniffs the air. By Dick Brewer

A: Florida Black Bears are the only bear species that inhabit Florida. Safety tips are different with different species of bears due to their varying life histories. The following safety tips refer to black bears and not necessarily brown bears, Grizzly bears, or other bear species.

Think of a black bear as a large, stray dog in your neighborhood. Precautions you’d take with a stray dog apply to black bears too. Don’t make direct eye contact (a threat gesture), don’t run, and don’t turn your back to it.

First, make some noise (clapping hands, bell, whistle) so the bear knows that you are there. Surprising any wild animal is not a good thing.

Stand tall and make yourself look larger by raising your hands above your head. Adults should pick up and hold small children.

Then, back away slowly and get a safe distance away from the black bear. Just like dogs, black bears have a chase instinct and will go after something running from them even if they do not mean any harm. Once you are at a safe distance, you can snap a few photos and enjoy the moment.

Black bears in the wild are shy animals and generally not aggressive towards people. Exceptions would be a black bear that is strongly food conditioned and smells any food you are carrying, and a female black bear who is protecting her cubs. If you see a small cub seemingly by itself, back off immediately. The mother black bear is somewhere very close, and she is watching her cub and she is watching you.

A black bear is a large, powerful, wild animal. It pays to be cautious and to not provoke it, so know a little about black bear behavior before meeting one.

If a black bear stands on its hind legs, it’s not a threat; it just wants to get a better look and smell of the situation.

However, stamping its front legs, jaw popping (snapping its jaws together to make a popping noise), huffing (blowing air out of its nose and mouth quickly), or bluff charging (rushing toward a person but stopping before physically making contact) means it is nervous, and you need to back away from the black bear. Allow the black bear plenty of room to escape, which is all it really wants to do.

If a black bear does approach you and attack, hold your ground and fight back.

If camping at CREW, never store food or any heavily scented items (toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) in your tent. Always store it in a hard topped vehicle, hung from a tree at least 10 feet off the ground and 5 feet away from trees, or in a bear proof container that can be purchased at an outdoor recreation store. Food coolers are not bear proof containers. Click here to camp at CREW.
Online resource:
http://www.myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/wildlife/black-bears

By: Dick Brewer

A View of Bird Rookery Swamp- “A fun day for Otters”

otter at Bird Rookery Swamp

Below are first hand observations from our volunteer Dick Brewer. He does weekly visits to Bird Rookery Swamp and very week sends us incredible stories of the magical 12 mile loop. If you would like to see more of his observations visit: http://www.dickbrewer.org/CREW.html

otter at Bird Rookery Swamp
By Dick Brewer

 

 

Saturday, February 21st- Fun day for River Otters. One was just past Ida’s pond where I’ve seen it before. It came up on land, rolled in some leaves, and went to the base of a tree. Then, it jumped into ferns at the base of the tree. I didn’t know that otters could jump. It was pulling dead vegetation out and eventually made a small pile of leaves and vegetations and then
marked its territory.

 

The second group was a family by the dual culverts between markers 6 & 3. There was a large gator dozing by the entrance to one of the culverts and the otters were apparently teaching the young about predators. They were huffing, snorting, and barking and then harassed the gator by dashing at it and in a few cases touching its hindquarters. The gator finally had enough and raised its head, at which time all of the otters dispersed, still very noisy. A couple of bikers came by and were totally entertained.

otters
By Dick Brewer

BIRDS
Pied-billed Grebe – 1
Anhinga – 9
Great Blue Heron – 7
Great Egret – 35
Snowy Egret – 3
Little Blue Heron – 4
Tri-colored Heron – 2
Green Heron – 1
Black-crowned Night Heron – 21
Yellow-crowned Night Heron – 1
White Ibis – 91
Glossy Ibis – 1
Wood Stork – 1
Black Vulture – 13
Turkey Vulture – 18
Red-shouldered Hawk – 12
Osprey – 1
Killdeer – 1
Common Ground Dove – 1
Belted Kingfisher – 10
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 7
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Pileated Woodpecker – 2
Eastern Phoebe – 8
Great-crested Flycatcher – 3
Tree Swallow – 56
Tufted Titmouse – 4
Carolina Wren – 14
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 19
Northern Mockingbird – 3
Gray Catbird – 6
White-eyed Vireo – 6
Black-and-white Warbler – 1
Palm Warbler – 11
Northern Cardinal – 2
Common Grackle – 4

 

White eyed viero
By Dick Brewer

BUTTERFLIES
Palamedes Swallowtail – 1
Zebra Longwing – 11
Queen – 2
Viceroy – 2
White Peacock – 15
Gulf Fritillary – 1
Dorantes Longtail – 2
Dun Skipper – 1
Tropical Checker – 2
Barred Yellow – 1

OTHER
River Otter – 8
Gray Squirrel – 2
Red-bellied Turtle – 11
Banded Water Snake – 3
Water Moccasin – 2
Alligator – 84   ”

Visit Bird Rookery Swamp today and experience the beauty of CREW:   https://crewtrus.mystagingwebsite.com/2013/06/26/bird-rookery-swamp-trail/

Bike the Loop: Bird Rookery Swamp

Like to bike? Come out to Bird Rookery Swamp on February 27th, 2015 from 9 am- 1pm and  join CREW Trust volunteers Peter Tomlinson and Jan Watson for a guided  tour of the picturesque 12-mile loop. 

View beautiful scenery, great wildlife, and enjoy the company of like-minded souls.

Activity Level: Strenuous-This is a trail ride on uneven, soft, grassy/sandy trails. Ground level with swamp on both sides of the trail.

BRING YOUR OWN BICYCLE: Mountain, hybrid or fat tire bikes are recommended. Not appropriate for road bicycles. CREW does NOT provide bikes for this tour. 

Space is limited to first 20 riders that register, so use the link below and sign up fast:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bird-rookery-swamp-bike-tour-registration-15294104077

 

 

 

Bike the Bird Rookery Swamp Loop

Like to bike? Well come out to Bird Rookery Swamp on January 9th, 2015 and  join CREW Trust volunteers Peter Tomlinson and Jan Watson for a guided  tour of the picturesque 12-mile loop. 

View beautiful scenery, great wildlife, and enjoy the company of like-minded souls.

Activity Level: Strenuous-This is a trail ride on uneven, soft, grassy/sandy trails. Ground level with swamp on both sides of the trail.

BRING YOUR OWN BICYCLE: Mountain, hybrid or fat tire bikes are recommended. Not appropriate for road bicycles. CREW does NOT provide bikes for this tour. 

Space is limited to first 20 riders that register, so use the link below and sign up fast:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/bird-rookery-swamp-bike-tour-registration-11948031885

 

 

 

CREW Bird Rookery Swamp Trail

Physical Address: 1295 Shady Hollow Boulevard, Naples, FL 34120

Hours: One hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset

Trails/Facilities: Free – donations accepted, Open to public

Trail Information

The Bird Rookery Swamp Trail officially opened in July 2011. The Bird Rookery Swamp Trail offers 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, including a 1500-ft. boardwalk with wheelchair accessibility. A 1/4-mile crushed shell path leads to a 1500-ft. boardwalk, then the trails become ground level, sandy/grassy, relatively flat berms with swamp on both sides. The trails are actually old tram roads used when the area was logged many years ago. Biking can be a challenge on the grassy/sandy trails, but quite rewarding. The maple-cypress swamp is home to alligators, otters, Florida panthers, bobcats, white-tailed deer and more. There is one portable toilet at the beginning of the boardwalk and several benches along the trail within the first 1.5 miles. Beyond that there are no structures.

Birders will delight in the abundance of songbirds that frequent the cypress trees along the boardwalk, as well as the many raptors and wading birds found along the trails. Barred owls are common and swallow-tailed kites frequent the area in summer.

Trail Map

 Activities:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Nature study/photography
  • Geocaching
  • Birding
  • Running

The walking of dogs along this trail is not recommended.

Directions:

 From Fort Myers/Naples: From I-75, take exit 111 and turn east (away from Naples) on Immokalee Road (CR 846). Travel 11.4 miles and turn left onto Shady Hollow Blvd. (One mile past the Oil Well Rd stoplight – Shady Hollow is where Immokalee Rd goes from 4-lane to 2-lane). Go to the end of Shady Hollow (approx 2.4 miles). Parking lot is on the right.

From Immokalee: Travel west (toward Naples) on CR 846 (Immokalee Road) for approx. 16.5 miles. Turn right on Shady Hollow Blvd. Travel 2.4 miles north to parking area/gate.

Google Map to Bird Rookery Swamp Trails: http://goo.gl/maps/9tSNd

Go back to the Visit CREW page.

What you need to know about the Purple Trail

Click for a PDF copy of this map
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