Outdoor Adventures


The Reserve’s 110,000 acres provide campers with access to one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. Primitive camping is allowed in designated locations within the reserve.  Review the guidelines and safety tips to ensure your next camping trip is memorable.

  • Primitive camping is allowed in “Designated Areas” marked with [tent icon] on the map above.
  • Designated camping locations include: Dickman’s Point, Gullivan Key, White Horse Key, Hog Key, and Camp Lulu.
  • Permits or reservations not required. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Visitors found camping in locations that are not designated for this use may be asked to leave by FWC or other law enforcement entity.


Tent Icon Dark Blue | Rookery Bay Research Reserve


This is a “wilderness experience!” Campers must be aware there are NO facilities available. In order to maintain a pristine environment for wildlife and other visitors, please observe the following guidelines at all times when visiting or camping in natural areas:

  • Human feces are a health hazard – see Wilderness Hygiene Guidelines
  • Pack out all your trash including unsanitary and unsightly toilet paper
  • Do not leave camping equipment behind – take everything back with you
  • Properly dispose all food items: and do not discard food or rinds on the island or in the water

Prescribed Fire Dark Blue Icon | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

Campfire Guidelines

  • Fires are permitted in designated camping areas, but they must be attended at all times.
  • Do not burn wood pallets. They leave behind dangerous nails.
  • Do not burn trash. Broken glass bottles and cans are dangerous.
  • If you dig a fire pit, fill it in when you are done.
  • If you use charcoal, do not leave briquettes behind on the beach or in vegetation.

Restricted Icon Dark Blue | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

Restricted Access: April - August

Between April and August restricted access will apply to the following locations:

  • Keewaydin Island
  • Morgan Beach
  • Second Chance Shoal

Dark Blue Parking Icon | Rookery Bay Research Reserve


No overnight parking at Collier County boat ramps, except for at Port of the Islands Marina and the Goodland Boat Park (fee is $10 per vehicle per night).

Dark Blue Buoy Icon | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

Safety First

We strongly encourage all boaters to file a float plan with a friend or family member who will be responsible for notifying the coast guard in the event the boater does not return as scheduled.

Hygiene Icon Dark Blue | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

Wilderness Hygiene

  • Use facilities on board your boat, or a “portable potty”, and dispose of properly when in port.
  • Urinate below the high tide line and away from other people.
  • Dig a cat hole above the high tide line and at least eight inches deep for any fecal waste. Carry out waste paper in a ziplock baggie for proper disposal.

Explore with Us!

Guided Boat Tours

Discover Rookery Bay’s extraordinary wildlife on one of our naturalist guided kayak tours. Two-hour guided kayak tours let you explore backwater bays and mangrove forests and provide opportunities to see wildlife such as wading birds, osprey, fish and dolphins.