Discover Barefoot Beach Preserve

Located just south of Bonita Beach Road in north Naples, Barefoot Beach Reserve is more than just another beautiful sandy beach in southwest Florida. The barrier island beach and preserve has nature trails, shelling and excellent amenities with everything you need for a family-friendly day relaxing on the white sandy beach.

There is a small charge for parking if you do not have a Collier residents permit. The preserve is on Little Hickory Island and has 8,200 feet of beach stretching south to Wiggins Pass. The park is open daily from 8am to sunset.

Turtles and Tortoises at Barefoot Beach Preserve

Barefoot Beach is a popular place for Loggerhead Sea Turtles to lay their eggs. It is also a Gopher Tortoise Preserve. These protected animals are a prehistoric species and it’s fun to see then lumbering across the sand and disappearing into the sea grapes. You can learn more about the tortoises and other wildlife by attending the lectures and interpretive programs or joining the guided walks offered by the Park Rangers. Check the noticeboard for dates and details.

The preserve protects one of the last remaining undeveloped barrier islands in this sought-after area of north Naples. It covers 342 acres protecting a wildlife habitat of sand dunes, sea oats, mangroves and tropical coastal hammock where sabal palms and gumbo limbo trees can be found.

Barefoot Beach Trail and Amenities

Barefoot Beach Preserve has a parking lot for 356 vehicles. Amenities include showers, rest rooms, picnic tables and wheelchair access to the beach. You can buy refreshments from the concession stand and rent beach equipment, kayaks, and other watersports equipment.

Fishing enthusiasts love this beach park as they can catch many different species of fish in the tidal creeks and mangroves or right off the beach. | Sunset at Barefoot Beach Preserve in Bonita Springs near Naples and Fort Myers, Florida

Photo credit Jennifer Brinkman

Barefoot Beach Preserve is the perfect beach choice for those wanting to enjoy a more natural beach environment surrounded by wildlife and greenery. It’s a wonderful place to find beautiful shells washed up along the high tide mark. Ideal for families, the beach offers safe swimming and is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the view.

One thing to be aware of between the months of May through October is that stingrays love the soft sand in this area too. They love to lie on the sandy bottom in shallow water, flapping their wide fins until they are lightly covered with sand and well-disguised. If you inadvertently step on one, it can lash out with its nasty barbed tail causing a very painful wound. A stingray can be easily avoided by shuffling your feet along in the sand to scare them off. | Serene Barefoot Beach State Preserve near Naples and Fort Myers, Florida

Photo credit Jennifer Brinkman

Nature lovers will enjoy strolling along the one mile-long boardwalk/trail and spot a host of wildlife and birds. Known as the Saylor Nature Trail it winds through the tress towards Wiggins Pass. There is an Aquatic Butterfly Garden with ponds and a waterfall and a Xeriscape Cactus Garden.

Written by:

Nita Ettinger is Co-publisher for Siesta Publications Inc. and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed magazines and the website Must Do magazines are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County Chamber of Commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications can be found.