A Place Where Beauty Abounds and Nature Thrives…
Collier County’s desirable coast reaches its zenith at Barefoot Beach Preserve, where numerous plant and animal species reside, and visitors are able to enjoy the ambience of the preserve’s natural surroundings. Popular for its gorgeous, plush surroundings and its opportunities for avid fisherman, who can enjoy many species of fish. The inland side of the island provides tidal creeks and mangrove swamps which serve as breeding areas and as a nursery for marine life.
Barefoot Beach Preserve is 342 acres of natural land, one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast. This beach preserve is an excellent example of the shifts in habitat that occur within a very narrow strip of land with only slight changes in elevation and moisture. 8,200 feet of beach and sand dunes support the growth of sea oats, providing nesting sites for sea turtles during the summer months. The preserve also maintains a tropical coastal hammock of sabal palm, gumbo-limbo, and sea grape trees among many others. The site is also home to the protected gopher tortoise.
The preserve entrance is near the west end of Bonita Beach Road–turn onto Barefoot Beach Blvd. and go south1-1/2 miles.
PRESERVE / PARK INFORMATION
Please refer to the Collier County Parks & Recreation site for the most current information regarding the park.
The park is open from 8:00 am to sunset, year-round. The Learning Center is open all year. It is staffed by docent volunteers, seven days a week 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, January – April.
There are 356 parking spaces in the park. The parking fee is $10.00 per day: credit cards only. Pay stations are also available when booth attendant is not present by the Pavilion in parking lot 1 and parking lots 2 and 3. Parking is free to vehicles bearing a Collier County beach parking sticker. There are three (3) lots available at the Preserve. Click here for County beach parking permit information.
There is a Ranger Station and a restroom located at parking lot #1. Clivis Wilderness porta johns are located at parking lot #3, as well as at the 1/2 mile marker on the west Saylor Trail. Food concession is available near the Park Ranger Station. Click here for days/times. Beach chairs, umbrellas, and kayaks are available for rent by visiting www.discoverbarefootbeach.com or call Beach Rental at 833-502-3224 Ext 2 for current information.
A Park Ranger guided canoe trip through the estuary operates January through April. Reservations are required. Call the Collier County Parks and Recreation office at 239-252-4060 for dates and times. Fee: $10.00 per person.
Visitors may launch their own canoes or kayaks at the launch area found near parking area #3 (on the estuary side). A float plan should be filled out at the attendant’s booth as you enter the preserve. There is no fee to launch a canoe/kayak, however, there is an $10.00 parking fee if you do not have a current Collier County beach parking pass.
There is a numbered trail you may follow in the estuary through the mangrove area (marked 1 through 15). It ends at the entrance to the river. For your safety, preserve management asks that you do not go beyond marker #15. Motorboats are traveling on the intracoastal waterway beyond that point. No motorboats are allowed in the back bay area, as it is very shallow and a protected area. Note: There is no entrance marked from the river.
Please take only photographs. The preserve management also asks that you please remain in your canoe. Delicate sea grass beds and mudflats are home to many species of wildlife in all stages of development.
The Learning Center is located at parking lot #1. It contains displays of Barefoot Beach animal and marine life. Educational hand-outs about tortoises, shells and birds are available. January – April, trained docents are on hand to answer questions and provide information. There is a butterfly garden and a cactus garden adjacent to the Learning Center.
The Saylor Nature Trail is a 1-1/2-mile looped hiking trail through Barefoot Beach Preserve. The trail is accessible at the south end of parking lot #3 or off the northern path to the beach in parking lot #3, where a hiker can experience many of the native plants and animals of the Preserve. Keep an eye out for plant signs with a QR code marker which links to additional information. Click here for trail map.
COLLIER COUNTY REGULATIONS
COLLIER COUNTY REGULATIONS ~ Visitors are not permitted to bring the following into the Preserve:
- Barbecue grills
Campers longer than 20 feet or trailers are not permitted in the Preserve.