The southernmost state park campground on Florida’s west coast, Collier-Seminole State Park is a quaint camping destination frequented by campers from all over the country. However, if you’re searching for activities, Collier-Seminole leaves something to be desired. Welcome to our Collier-Seminole State Park campground review.
Collier-Seminole State Park is conveniently located south of I-75 on Hwy 41. Hwy 41, if taken further east, will lead you through Big Cypress National Preserve and right into Miami. Collier-Seminole is a nice stopover for a couple of days if you’re traveling from or to the east coast of Florida or the Florida Keys.
There are 2 separate camping areas at Collier-Seminole. After you pull in past the Ranger Station the first camping area, a right off the main road, are sites 1 through 19. Although more private than the main camping area, these sites are small and are recommended for tent campers. You can fit a small trailer or perhaps Class B RV also. We had a friend stay in this area and mentioned that many tent campers had dogs with them. The dogs would naturally hear sounds in the night and bark which set off the other dogs and their owners who were trying to get their dog to settle down. It wasn’t the most peaceful night’s sleep.
The main camping area consists of sites 20 to 105. These sites are uniquely situated as 3 smaller areas within a large triangle. They are very close together with no separation of trees or other vegetation between them. If you desire privacy you will not find it here at Collier-Seminole State Park campground.
Our site, #61, was right on a corner. Our neighbor’s vehicle (a van) was extremely close to our camper and we heard them sliding open and closed their side van door all night. And, because of the way traffic is directed around the larger triangle all vehicles had to pass by our site to leave or to go to the dump station.
The bathroom facilities are abundant and close. The one closest to our campsite was older although very clean as they typically are in Florida State Parks. The other 2 were newer and larger. The dump station is located very close to the sites so although convenient, it made for more vehicle noise as noted above.
Wildlife at Collier-Seminole
Upon registration at the Ranger Station, we were warned that bears had been sighted so keep all our food inside the car or RV. Because we have a pop-up camper we opted for the car for sure. There are also panthers and pythons in the park as well. And, of course, alligators. So, there is a lot of wildlife at Collier-Seminole but you don't really want to go and seek out bears, panthers, or pythons. Therefore, other than a couple of woodpeckers and some osprey we really didn't experience much wildlife.
What to Do at Collier-Seminole State Park
Paddling, Boating, Fishing
The primary activities at Collier-Seminole are paddling, boating, and fishing. The boat dock is large with a separate area for launching kayaks and canoes. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent. They charge $40 for 4 hours for a kayak which is the minimum. Because it would have been $80 for the 2 of us to kayak, we passed. The waterway from the dock is black water and leads to the Blackwater River and eventually out to the Gulf of Mexico.
If you’re interested in paved road biking, you’ll have to bring your bikes elsewhere. There are only the roads within the campground to safely and peacefully ride. Once out onto Hwy 41, although there is a bike path, cars are going by at 60+ mph and it’s very noisy.
There is a 3.5-mile trail for biking off-road. We started down this trail which in the early 1900s was the only road from this area to Marco Island but quickly discovered that mountain bikes are needed.
There is a 6.5-mile hiking trail as well. We hiked only the part of the trail at the beginning that has a boardwalk. The rest of the trail was very wet and muddy.
Please note that if you venture onto the 3.5-mile off-road biking trail or the 6.5-mile hiking trail, you are requested to check-in at the Ranger Station both before and afterward. Apparently, people get lost. With this being an area that has both panther and bear activity it is also recommended that you do not go on either of these trails alone.
What to Do Outside Collier-Seminole State Park
Although we stayed at the park to hang out with friends for our 4 days and 3 nights there, you can take San Marco Rd just outside the park directly to Marco Island. You can also take a drive eastward on Hwy 41. Then south on Hwy 29 to Everglades City. View a Google Map of the area.
We Made Our Own Activity
We camped with friends that are musicians. 3 of them brought their guitars and battery-powered amplifiers and another camper that we didn’t know walked over with his guitar. We set up in the middle of the larger of the loops within the triangle (sites 52-69) and put on a little concert for a few hours in the afternoon. Campers loved it and gathered around to hear our friends play. It made for the best day camping we’ve had so far.
Collier-Seminole State Park Campground Review
Would we drive 3 hours south to Collier-Seminole again? Unless our friends were camping with us probably not. There are so many state park campgrounds in Florida, and some of the best are within a short distance from our home in Largo. It would be hard to justify the drive for the lack of things to do there and the proximity of the campsites being so close to each other. But, if you’re in South Florida anyway, Collier-Seminole is a nice place to stop for a night or two.
We hope you got value from our Collier-Seminole State Park campground review!