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A paddle on the wild side: Canoe through Florida’s natural past at Collier-Seminole State Park

See smaller Seeing birds, like this heron, is one of the all-natural thrills of the trip. The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER

Seeing birds, like this heron, is one of the all-natural thrills of the trip. The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

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  • Don't worry, the guides will instruct you in canoeing. The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Seeing birds, like this heron, is one of the all-natural thrills of the trip. The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Seeing birds, like this heron, is one of the all-natural thrills of the trip. The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Guide Don Bess takes it easy. The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • A guide displays a mangrove crab. The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Volunteer guide Candace Bess talks natural history. The Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park offers guided canoe trips on the Blackwater River several times each week. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Collier County is known for many things. The area is a golf mecca, a shopping destination, and a gourmet restaurant lover’s delight. The beaches of Naples and Marco Island are world-class.
But there is another side to Collier County, one that even many who have lived here for decades never experience.

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