2015-03-26 / Outdoors

Discover our good nature on a Conservancy guided walk

Conservancy of Southwest Florida offers free guided nature walks at three locations in Collier County. All walks are conducted by trained Conservancy volunteers and are subject to weather conditions and volunteer availability.

¦ Clam Pass: 9 a.m. Monday-Saturday – This two-hour tour traverses boardwalk, bay and beach and touches on the importance of mangrove trees and some Florida history as well as the fascinating creatures and plants that share this unique habitat. Meet at the gazebo near the parking lot tram stop. Wear sun protection.

Directions: The entrance to Clam Pass Park is at the end of Seagate Drive west of U.S. 41. Free parking with beach sticker.

¦ Tigertail Beach, Marco Island: 8:30 a.m. Monday-Friday – Shore birds, wading birds, fiddler crabs, mangroves, live shells and more can be spotted on this walking tour that is a designated destination on the Great Florida Birding Trail. The tidal lagoon and mudflats offer great views of many of the Gulf Coast’s seasonal and yearround avian residents such as ospreys, pelicans, plovers, sandpipers, egrets, herons and roseate spoonbills, some of which are rare or endangered. Meet at the Tigertail Beach kiosk. Bring water shoes and binoculars and plan to spend 1-2 hours on the beach.

Directions: After crossing the bridge to Marco Island, turn right at the fifth traffic light onto Kendall Court, then left at the four-way stop onto Hernando Court. Free parking with beach sticker.

¦ Briggs Boardwalk, Rookery Bay: 8:30 a.m. Monday-Friday (volunteer guides available most mornings through March 31; self- guided boardwalk open year round, dawn to dusk) – View five eco-communities from scrub to brackish ponds. The boardwalk is a Great Florida Birding Trail site.

Directions: Take Collier Boulevard south from U.S. 41 toward Marco Island for about 3 miles. Turn right on Shell Island Road. Go 1 mile, park in front of building with flagpole, and take path on right to back of building where boardwalk starts. Do not enter or go toward private building.

For more information about the above walks and additional tours and programs offered by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, visit conservancy.org. ¦

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