Description & History:
This popular destination boasts one of the most pristine stretch of beach in the world. Visitors arrive to this park to sunbathe, snorkel the reef, hike, bird-watch, fish, picnic, and search for seashells on a daily basis. There is a pavilion available to rent for special occasions, such as weddings and birthdays. A concessionaire, Naples Beach Adventures, is open in parking Lot #4 with food and beverages and rentals that include paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, umbrellas, and beach chairs. Beach wheelchairs are also available for reservation by the Park.
The written record of this area begins in the late 1800s with Joe Wiggins, the namesake of the pass. Wiggins, the first homesteader, ran an apiary and trading post where he traded goods with Seminole Indians and settlers. Decades later, Collier County acquired the land through the philanthropic generosity of Lester J. and Dellora A. Norris, hence the name ‘Delnor.’ In 1970, the state of Florida purchased the land from Collier County for a state park, which opened in 1976.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy numerous different coastal activities, including the following:
A pristine beach on the Gulf of Mexico, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park offers some of the best shelling opportunities on the Gulf coast however live shelling is prohibited. (This is one of our favorite beaches in the area!)
The boat ramp empties you into Water Turkey Bay, which runs via the South Channel into the Cocohatchee River. From the Cocohatchee River you can go north via the back bays up into Estero Bay, east up the Cocohatchee River or, as most visitors do, head west into the Gulf of Mexico through Wiggins Pass. There is a boat ramp fee of $5.00 + tax. This is in addition to the Admission Fee and is free with an annual State Park Pass.
Canoeing and Kayaking
There is a canoe and kayak launch at the boat ramp. They can also be launched from the beach in area #5 near Wiggins Pass. Kayak, canoe and stand-up-paddle boards are available to rent from the concession located in lot #4.
Fishing covers a wide area around the park. You can fish from a vessel in the Gulf, Water Turkey Bay and the Cocohatchee River, except within 300 feet of the park beach along the Gulf of Mexico. No vessels are permitted to anchor within 100 feet of the designated fishing area, which encompasses the pass. You may fish from the shoreline along Wiggins Pass or wade fish in Water Turkey Bay. Fishing is prohibited in the swimming areas of the park.
The beach at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is the most used non designated trail in the park. It winds for over a mile north to Wiggins Pass. Approximately five miles of board walks and sandy areas provide other paths to the beach and picnic areas. There is a designated Nature Trail that winds through the hammock near the observation tower.
There are shaded picnic areas located between each parking lot and the beach, with boardwalks leading to them. There are grills and tables available. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited, except during park-sanctioned events where alcohol is permitted within designated areas.
Resident eagles, ospreys, owls, and other woodland species make room every fall for the migratory shore birds. Dolphins, manatees and a variety of other sea-life frequents the waters throughout the Pass and surrounding coastal waters. Bring your binoculars and cameras; there will be plenty of opportunities to use both.
Swimming, Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving are permitted from the southern boundary up to the middle of parking lot five, a distance of almost one mile. No swimming is permitted in Wiggins Pass due to the dangerous currents there.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park charges a $6 admission fee per vehicle with 2-8 occupants. Single occupant vehicles are charged a $4 admission fee. Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers (over 8 in a vehicle), or passengers in a vehicle in which an occupant holds a valid Annual Individual Entrance Pass or Florida State Parks Annual Pass are charged $2. The boat ramp fee is $5 + tax (in addition to the Admission Fee).