We are very fortunate to have this beach state park and all of its amenities here in Naples. This beach is rated one of the best in the country and it is very popular. There are five large parking lots but, get there early during January, February & March (especially on the weekends). It is typical for cars to start lining up outside the park entrance at 7 am on Saturday and Sunday during our busy season.
With regards to setting yourself up on the beach, the more congested area will be at the south end and it thins out as you move north in the park towards Wiggins Pass. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park covers 166 acres on a barrier island so there is a mile-long stretch of beach on the Gulf of Mexico side and the bay waters of Water Turkey Bay on the east side. The Cochatchee River and Wiggins Pass border the park on the north. Thanks to this geography, there is something for everyone at this state park.
Here is a list of tips and some of the activities that are popular at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park:
- Sunbathing & swimming are all along the beach up to a point at the north end of the beach where you’ll see signs indicating otherwise. You’ll see buoys protecting the swimming area and boats are not allowed to anchor nearby the designated areas.
- Beachcombing and shelling are wonderful along this beach. Read our posts in the “Local Tips” section for “Where Do I Find Shells?” and “Where Do I Find Shark Teeth?” If you’re really serious about those two activities, you’ll want to know when low tides are happening.
- Boating and kayaking are excellent because the park has a boat ramp for launching and you have easy access to the Cocohatchee River, Water Turkey Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. If you know your way around and/or have charts, you can boat all of the way up to Fort Myers Beach via the back bay waters headed north.
- Fishing is directed to the north end of the park and Wiggins Pass. You’ll find fishermen set up in chairs along this beach area and they are always successful in catching something. It provides entertainment for the non-fishermen, too. If you’re not familiar with fishing in Southwest Florida, we would suggest you stop in to any Sunshine Ace Hardware store because they all have excellent fishing departments with knowledgeable people and are well stocked with equipment and lures.
- Picnic areas are set up in the shade between each of the parking lots and the beach. Grills are provided as well as picnic tables. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis and bring your own charcoal for the grills. If you have a huge group, there is a picnic pavilion at the north end of the park that accommodates 100 people and you would need to call (239) 597-6196 to reserve that space.
- Restrooms and outdoor showers are set up in six locations throughout the park along the beach side of the property. All are ADA accessible and there are two beach wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Scuba diving & snorkeling are popular here because there is a hard bottom reef which runs parallel to the beach. You should choose parking Lot #2 if you are carrying equipment for this activity.
- Remember, it is illegal to disturb anything that is alive including sand dollars. Wildlife viewing is a pastime at Delnor-Wiggins Pass Beach State Park. Bring your binoculars and your camera. You’ll see eagles, osprey and owls as well as a huge variety of shore birds. Many times there are flocks of migratory birds, large gatherings of Royal Terns and other birds at the north point of the beach as the shoreline bends around to Wiggins Pass. There is an observation tower at the very north end of the park (Parking Lot #5) which gives you a panoramic view over the tree tops and this is a great vantage point, too. Naturally, you’ll see an abundance of aquatic life including dolphins in action, manatee, crabs and starfish.
- Guided tours are given by rangers on Wednesday during the turtle season and on Friday during the rest of the year. Check with the attendants at the entrance to the park and pick up printed literature as you pass through the gate to pay your entrance fee.
- Pets are allowed in the park but must be on a handheld leash and they are not permitted on the beach.
Read our post Vanderbilt Beach / Bluebill Access if you aren’t carrying a lot of stuff or you aren’t planning on staying very long in Delnor-Wiggins Pass Beach State Park.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass Beach State Park
11135 Gulfshore Drive
Naples, Florida 34108