Long Lake and Bird Rookery Canoe Trail is a 12.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Naples, Florida that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for canoeing and is best used from November until May.
This canoe trail is in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. There is a turn onto a short dirt road right off Florida Highway 41. This takes you down to the Lake where you can off load your canoe or pole boat (no power boats). The second lake down is Long Lake - don't know the name of the first lake where you off load your boat.
Walked part of this trail (Trail Map 1-3 & 3-6) and couldn't have been happier with the wildlife! Seeing as it is January 13th the path was dry and there were a ton of baby alligators. We say 10 large and 58 small ones, along with birds, raccoons, fish, snakes, and butterflies.
This trail actually goes from Lake to Lake for around 8 miles one way (my track is just the first mile out and back). The lakes are largely connected by mangrove tunnels which are very cool to go through. In the middle of the first Lake is an island where 100's and 100's of bird roost at sundown. To see this you have to be there as the sun sets. Lots of alligators in that lake which makes for a very safe bird habitat in the evening. You are not allowed to paddle toward the island (there's a fine for doing so if caught). The worry is it may spook the birds away. You can float by it though.
Parking after unloading is out of the way on the dirt road (don't block anyone else), or on the side of Hwy 41. The entrance to the dirt road that leads to the boat launch is at Lat 25.9320 Long -81.4437. The dirt road is maybe 1/2 block long, and then your at the Lake. Best to call ahead to Fakahatchee Strand Preserve in Copeland at (239) 695-4593 to find out the exact rules for usage. A few local commercial companies use this area.