Commune with nature while learning about Southwest Florida’s ever-enchanting natural environment with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s free guided nature walks at Clam Pass and Briggs Boardwalk.
“Southwest Florida is an ecosystem so rich with diversity, it rivals the wildest places on earth,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “For 55 years, the Conservancy has been working to protect our natural assets for future generations. It’s our pleasure to share our passion and inspire visitors and residents through these free guided walks.”
From December through April, Clam Pass, located on Sea Gate Drive just west of U.S. 41 in Naples, is a picturesque setting for guided walking tours. Throughout each tour, trained naturalists narrate and educate participants about local flora and fauna, providing guests with an immersive eco-experience in the captivating and biologically rich area.
Clam Pass County Park showcases vistas of a beautiful beach amid a scenic boardwalk traversing a vibrant and unique natural habitat. Walkers have the luxury of learning as they stroll, while volunteer naturalists point out trees and plants that dominate the scenery. Birding enthusiasts often enjoy sightings of beautiful shore birds, pileated woodpeckers, and yellow-crowned night herons along the way. Learn about Southwest Florida shells and see other treasures such as sharks’ teeth the Gulf may deliver to the shore.
Clam Pass guided nature walks meet at the tram stop gazebo near the parking lot Monday – Saturday at 9 a.m. (excluding holidays). Each walk is unique and lasts approximately two hours. On Sundays between 9 and 11 a.m., join Conservancy volunteer naturalists on the beach near the pass to view birds through a scope and ask questions. Find out what birds are resting at Clam Pass, why they are there and maybe even see nesting osprey. Free nature walks are offered in partnership with Collier County Parks and Recreation.
From January through March, guided nature walks are offered daily at 10 a.m. at the Briggs Boardwalk just south of Naples. It’s a Great Florida Birding Trail site with a half-mile boardwalk that passes through five unique habitats from scrub to brackish ponds, and little changed from thousands of years ago. Tour visitors meet their guides at the parking lot in front of the law enforcement office of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission on Shell Island Road.
In addition to guided tours, Conservancy volunteers are also available on the boardwalk seven days a week from 9 a.m. to noon January through March, (except in inclement weather and on holidays) to help visitors spot and identify plants, birds and other animals with a spotting telescope on an elevated observation platform overlooking brackish ponds. Special free tours for groups can be arranged for school and college classes, organizations, clubs, or even just friends.
Sunscreen, comfortable shoes and a camera are recommended. For more information on tours and directions to free tours, please visit conservancy.org/offsite/nature-walks or call 239-262-0304.
About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 55-year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land, wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.