Heading south on Tamiami Trail (41) just a few miles past Collier-Seminole State Park is a little access point called the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The trail has been there for a little while, however recently they have made it more accessible with a parking lot, new signs, and a small lookout tower. I took a quick stop one day to see what it was all about.
One of the new informational signs that greet visitors in the parking lot.
A closer look at the sign shows us where we are at and how far the reserve extends. We are where the [P] is marked.
The trail is a vehicle accessible rock road. So no troubles with flooding. Off to the sides though are small canoe trails and marshes.
A juvenile heron rests at the top of a mangrove.
At the base of the diminutive lookout tower is a small pool of water. I saw a couple invasive Mayan Cichlids swimming out.
Further down the trail was this bird which appeared to be injured. It would only flew a few feet above the ground in short bursts.
Towards the end of the trail things open up a little more and you get a couple views of small mangrove clumps.
However, there was a storm looming and I was about 40min hike from the car.
Here’s a small panorama I put together.
I did make it down to the end of the trail where there is a large clearing with not much else to see. All in all, the whole trail is rather un-eventful with little to experience other than horseflies and mosquitoes. I did see one gator swimming along and a couple large herons. But for all its worth, unless you are going to go canoeing or kayaking down one of the little trails, I would skip this and check out one of the many other boardwalk trails along Tamiami Trail.