Meet Nick and Lori Arcese. They moved to Florida three weeks ago from Virginia Beach, Virginia. One of their first bicycle treks began at Cocohatchee River Park in North Naples, to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, for a relaxing day of lunch and sightseeing at one of Naples most pristine natural beach habitats.
Midway through their journey, they were drawn to the mangrove trails and gopher tortoises, as they pedaled through Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Each turn on their touring bikes offered a fresh glance at nature; something they both enjoy when venturing out together.
“This is actually a shorter trip for us, as we once biked from Sanibel Island to Captiva, which is thirty-two miles long,” said Nick Arcese of their bicycle journey. Nonetheless, he was impressed with Delnor-Wiggins Pass outdoor areas, as they ascended up the observation tower of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. At the top, they had an eagle-eye view of an untouched, somewhat secluded piece of paradise, in this two time award-winning Florida State Park, located in northern Collier County.
Heading up the stairs of the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park observation tower, the Arcese’s noticed the birds soaring overhead. They scaled the second landing, and spent a quiet moment together at the observation deck tower. Peering out to a vista of sabal palms and beach views, the two realized the potential of mother nature at her best. Afterwards, they returned to the beachfront on their bikes to spot a dolphin playing in the surf in Wiggins Pass, as boats meandered by during high tide.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is known for natural breathtaking moments such as this one, on the Arcese’s bicycle ride. Between wooden boardwalks, and powdery white sand beaches, it is famous for biking, hiking, driving, boating, and walking in an outside paradise. Park Rangers welcome visitors year round, rain or shine, until sunset each day.
Thanks to generous land donors Lester and Dellora Norris, and the shared vision of Collier County Commissioners back in the 1970’s, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park now consists of about one mile of an untouched barrier island for everyone to partake in its natural beauty. Joe Wiggins also shared the namesake for the park as one of its first homesteaders, beekeepers, and trader of goods and services with the Seminole Indian Tribe, back in the late 1800’s.
Today, this state park is a perfect setting for a couple searching for a nature walk together, families looking for a place to picnic, or for just for playful relaxing fun in Gulf waters, and for fisherman who want a challenge in saltwater fishing. There’s so much to do in this 166 acre park, it is hard to decide what to approach first.
So why not save the best for last? Or rather, start with the last first, just as the Arcese’s did on their bicycles. Begin in Parking Lot 5, and work your way backwards on foot or bicycle, from the observation tower first, to the beach via the boardwalk, then to the Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park’s shoreline for shelling. All the while, spotting butterflies and endangered species of birds nesting habitats along the way. Then hike your way, bike your way, or meander on over to Parking Lot 1.
When it comes to picnic areas, there are also many locations to sit and dine outside in Florida’s fresh air. At Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, there is also a boat launch area and plenty of parking for kayakers and motor boats to launch for a fee. The park also centers itself around preserving Florida’s natural resources through educational tours provided by Florida State Park Rangers.
The Gulf waters, beaches, and scenic hikes of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park encompasses another fascinating journey in Florida, right here in Collier County’s backyard. Don’t miss it.
July 2010 Programs at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
If you are hiking & biking, pack plenty of water, and mosquito repellent
Call for Reservations 597-6196
July 2, 2010: Castnetting
July 9: Beachcombing
July 16: Native Plant Walk
July 23: Snook Fishing
July 30th: Mangrove Walk
Every Friday at 9:30 a.m.
To Learn about Loggerhead Sea Turtles, the public is invited to a lecture with a State of Florida Park Ranger every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
IF YOU GO
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
Parking & Admission Fee:
$6 per vehicle (maximum of eight people)
$4 per vehicle (single occupant)
$2 per person for bicyclists, pedestrians, and extra passengers
11135 Gulfshore Drive North