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PISCAYUNE STRAND

Information Source: Florida State Parks

Picayune Strand WMA consists of more than 76,000 acres in Collier County two miles east of Naples south of I-75 and north of U.S. 41. This land was logged for cypress in the 1950s and 1960s and was then ditched and roads constructed for South Golden Gate Estates, a famous “swampland in Florida” scam. In 1985 under the Save Our Everglades program, the state began acquiring this land from thousands of absentee landowners.

Today the area is a mix of pinelands, cypress, marshes, and pasture, and provides habitat for wide-ranging Florida panthers as well as black bears, bald eagles, wood storks,  fox squirrels, and swallow-tailed kites. Hunting is available on the area. The Sabal Pine Hiking Trail, jointly owned by Collier County, consists of two short loops (1.9 and 1.3 miles) and traverses a dwarf cypress forest. The trail can be accessed from Sabal Palm Road. An oak-shaded primitive camping area can be found near the mid-point of the trail. A campground is located on 52nd Ave SE near the Florida Forest Service Office. Camping is allowed by special-use permit from the Florida Forest Service. The numerous canals on the area are available for fishing and small boats. A boat ramp is located on the Fakaunion Canal.  Parts of the area will be closed at varying times due to Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project construction.