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Bird Rookery Swamp

EASY 69 reviews

Bird Rookery Swamp is a 11.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Naples, Florida that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.9 miles Elevation Gain: 55 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

As of 5/28/19, it is reported that the boardwalk is closed for repairs.

hiking
8 days ago

Great hike. Easy walk but did run into this giant gator on trail that surprised us and stood up as we passed by. Was really cool experience.

recorded Bird Rookery Swamp

hiking
15 days ago

Erika, Mike, and Holly

recorded Bird Rookery Swamp

hiking
muddy
21 days ago

Holly, Sarah, and Adam. No gators on the trail today.

hiking
23 days ago

Had an amazing walk , saw dozens of alligators

nature trips
27 days ago

Bird Rookery Swamp is a great trail. if you want to see alligators, this is probably the best local trail to see them. I have also seen deer, otters, snakes and raccoons here. it is a great birding trail with herons, ibis and all the big wading birds, but also a large number of owls, hawks, vultures and the raptor birds. Dogs on leashes are allowed but I DON'T recommend dogs on this particular trail due to the high number of gators on the trail. The gators tend to leave people alone but are known to go after dogs. Summer time gets wet and muddy and the going gets tougher in the summer. This is a great trail for walking or bicycling but the biking is definitely much easier and more fun in the drier winter months. I highly recommend this wonderful trail.

recorded Bird Rookery Swamp

hiking
1 month ago

With Holly. Large alligator on trail. Short walk in tennis shoes. Need hiking boots to walk the whole trail.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Great hike! Only did a 8 mile out and back but will be back to do the whole 12! So much to see!

hiking
4 months ago

Trail is long, good fornbike riding. Lots of alligator may be napping on the trail, especially when you get further down the trail, which is grassy and gets thicker due to less use.

hiking
4 months ago

Boardwalk is open again but the rest of the trail is closed for wildlife resource protection

hiking
closed
5 months ago

Great peaceful hike along the entire boardwalk. Trail access closed at the end of boardwalk/beginning of dirt trail, due to protection of wilderness. Saw large active gator at the parking pond. ..many baby alligators and grunting of gators (protecting their babies) is heard along the trail from entry area to the start of boardwalk. Saw white tail deers, bob cat, hacks hunting, gator nests, crawfish, colorful butterflies, grasshoppers, woodpeckers and wild swamp vegetation. Bring plenty of water/electrolites and rain gear in case of sudden rain showers. Be fully aware of your sorroundings "KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN" there is plenty of hidden wildlife at swamp and related areas and be respectful with nature (keep noise down)....binoculars and a zoom camera are a must !!!!...carry mosquito repellent late afternoon....Be safe and have fun! Trail fee is voluntary, be fair with what nature gives you back.

8 months ago

CLOSED FOR BOARDWALK repairs...5.24.19

hiking
8 months ago

No one out today, probably because it was 85° with 79% humidity. Phone died but I did the whole trail. Overall I’m very good condition, seen about 20-25 gators, a lot of 5 footers, 1-2 deer, about a dozen hawks, anhingas, and a baby cottonmouth. Overall a good day, just make sure you bring lots of water. I drank about 5 bottles

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail, with lots of wildlife once you get about 3 miles out. Seen a few deer, and about 8 or 9, 5 foot gators on the trail that you’ll have to work around. Tons of birds. Some bugs but it’s a swamp soooo you get what you get.

hiking
8 months ago

Walked the entire trail with my girlfriend. First few miles are chill, with deer sightings and other native wildlife/ plant life. But once you’re all the way in it, past the first 3 checkpoints, you absolutely have to be 100% aware of your surroundings. You have to respect the land & the potential dangers within it. Once the sun came all the way out, we had to work our way around about 8 gators who were trying to sunbathe on our narrow path. Also saw a beautiful bull gator that was probably older than the both of us combined, with full-grown, flowering plants growing out of its scales. Highly recommend!

9 months ago

very nice park easy to follow alot of wildlife definitely worth the trip very clean glad people take care of the park

9 months ago

started the hike at 8am, so alittle heavy on the dew and light on the wildlife. but still awesome as usual.

9 months ago

Awesome hike as usual, did the full 12 miles. Little slow on the wildlife

hiking
10 months ago

I've done this trail a couple of times now and it always has a great amount of wildlife. Sometimes you don't see any until you have walked for a while, but today there was wildlife from the time I left the boardwalk to the time I returned. Otters, turtles, alligators, lots of birds and only a few people. Some bikes and some people on foot. Great trail. Very level, but as it is a dirt trail for the most part, it can be muddy if there has been rain recently.

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome trail, great scenery and wildlife. After you get past the first 4-5 miles or so a lot of alligators show up on the trail and all around it. A LOT! Awesome trail to run or hike.

hiking
10 months ago

It is an amazing, beautiful place, everything was green and there were alligators all over the place! Many small ones but also the big ones, right along the path. Although it was a Saturday, I came across less than 10 people during my 4 hour hike and had the nature all to myself. It's scary but also exciting to pass these fascinating creatures in a distance of 1-2 meters. I had the most amazing day!

hiking
10 months ago

Tons of gators, either right next to trail and even on the trail at times. I do not recommend bringing a dog or small children. Very easy to walk. Many gators past the 2.5 mile mark.

10 months ago

one of my favorite trails in the area. it is long and we have never gone more than 2 miles in. but i always get amazing wildlife shots! i dpnt recommend bringing animals, especially small, or letting kids run ahead due to the amnt of large gators. they will be gator bait fast lol.

Tue Jan 01 2019

No alligators. Very little wildlife. The area is heavily populated with bicyclists who are friendly but overrepresented. I imagine they scare away any wildlife present. I recommend this for cyclists not hikers.

Tue Jan 01 2019

Have done all 12 miles 2x. Each time saw a lot of gators, 3-12ft. Bigger ones in far back. A lot of vultures, and a couple cottonmouths. Depends on time of year you go. A lot of flowers and birds in rainy season. More gators in dry cooler season. Out in sun on edge of water. Bring plastic bags for windshield wipers and rubber trim on windows. The vultures eat rubber. Not a lot of cell service, and sometimes only a couple of feet to walk by a large gator. It’s a very nervous and exhilarating feeling.

hiking
Sun Dec 30 2018

We hiked the whole 12 mile loop. The trail starts off as a gravel road and then turns into a board walk for about half a mile. The rest of the trail is dirt so it will be muddy if it rained recently. The first mile was leisurely with several people walking slowly and quietly taking in the surroundings while keeping a careful eye out to spot any wildlife. We encountered only a couple of other people after this first mile so it became very deserted. There were alligators everywhere! There were many baby alligators as well as many huge alligators! Beware that many of them were laying right on the trail and we had to cautiously get past them. I have never had such close encounters with huge adult alligators in the wild before. This is not a trail for young children or dogs if you intend to hike further than two miles in . Altogether we we saw many egrets and herons, a hawk, many turtles, a raccoon, and of course many alligators!

Fri Nov 30 2018

Lots of gators and a few snakes. The grass was very tall making it hard to spot the snakes but saw lots of wildlife.

hiking
Thu Sep 27 2018

This trail is pretty amazing and absolutely brimming with alligators. I mean, they are ALL over the place. Many of them will be sunning right by the banks, or sometimes right smack in the middle of your path. The only way to keep going is to inch your way slowly by them. We brought our two dogs along for this adventure, which I regretted less than half way through when we encountered a large female gator blocking most of the path. We later learned from a park ranger that she is blind in one eye and shes been around the park for years. We didn't feel very safe crossing in front of her with the dogs, so at this point we turned and came back from where we came. That said, I'd love to come back and complete this hike without having to worry about my doggos becoming gator lunch!

hiking
Wed Aug 01 2018

Swamp is the operative word. Frequently, swamp on both sides of the trail. Alligators everywhere--some huge. We counted 33 in the 12 mile loop--11 were on the trail! The only way to get around them is to walk right next to them---I'm really not sure how safe that is

nature trips
Sat Jul 21 2018

Love the distance and ability to walk or ride bike. Beautiful and relaxing with wildlife and flowering plants. Gorgeous cypresses and yes saw lots of baby alligators.

Wed Jul 18 2018

Great for seeing wildlife.... especially in the months of January thru May.

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