What to do in Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Recreation Area

Separated from the mainland by mangrove swamps and tidal creeks, this recreation area is a narrow barrier island on Florida's southwest coast. A pass on the north end of the island is a natural outlet for the Cocohatchee River.

The natural coastal area of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Recreation Area provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, the most visible are the many species of shore and wading birds, small mammals and reptiles. The shallow Gulf waters are home for countless forms of marine life such as soft corals, mollusks, crustaceans and fish. Endangered loggerhead sea turtles come ashore on summer nights to lay their eggs. In the winter, the pass is often frequented by the endangered West Indian manatee seeking warm water.

Behind the secondary dunes, the maritime hammock provides shade for picnics. Tables and grills are grouped throughout the park's hammock with easy boardwalk access from each of the five parking lots. The one mile plus of sugar sand beach is a favorite place to swim, shell and sand sculpture. There are bathhouses with changing stalls, and outdoor showers near each parking area. The boat launch provides access to the back bays, Cocohatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico, providing visitors with excellent fishing opportunities. The most popular place to fish is Wiggins Pass. It is the only area along the park's beach where fishing is allowed. A pavilion is located at the north end of the island and is available for rental.

A variety of interpretive programs are offered throughout the year. The month of May marks the onset of the Loggerhead turtles' nesting activities. On Wednesday mornings, from June through October, you may join the rangers on the beach for an up-close look at nesting or hatching results. The "winter series" takes place December through March. The Wednesday morning programs beginning at 9 A.M., cover many habitats and activities. In these programs Rangers present information on birding, fishing and kayaking adventures. activities. Class size is limited and reservations are required. Programs can be scheduled for an individual group of eight or more people with a two week advance notice.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Recreation Area offers Gulf-front swimming, fishing, picnicking, and a boat ramp in a lush setting of sea oats, sea grapes, cabbage palms and mangroves.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Recreation Area is in southwest Florida, 5 miles west of Interstate 75 in North Naples, south of Fort Myers.

The climate in southern Florida is subtropical, with mild winters and hot, wet summers. It is not unusual for temperatures to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit with averages reaching above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging above 64 degrees Fahrenheit (above 18 Celsius). Yearly precipitation for the southwest area is more than 56 inches. Lightweight clothing for hot temperatures is suggested. Long sleeves, pants, sturdy shoes and bug repellent are recommended if hiking.

11100 Gulfshore Drive North
Naples, FL 34108

Phone: 941-597-6196

  • Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Recreation Area Travel Q&A