The Gordon River Greenway Naples
This month’s trip was inspired by the recommendation of Willie on The Bonita Springs Community Group on Facebook. As soon as he posted that The Gordon River Greenway was open I went to www.GordonRiverGreenway.org to verify that it was pet friendly. Minutes later l picked up a friend, loaded up my fearless Minpin Dill and we headed to Naples to scope it out.
Let me just say straight up front that this greenway gets a standing ovation for being user friendly and truly accessible for everyone. We chose to park at the south lot which is between the Zoo and the Conservancy on Goodlette-Frank Road. Be sure to drive all the way to the back, it’s a big lot.
We didn’t know what to expect so when we started out we were initially surprised by the width of the raised boardwalk bridge. It’s one of the widest boardwalk trails in SWFL, if not the widest. You might otherwise not notice because you’ll be distracted by the monkeys at the Zoo carrying on. This was officially our first nature walk with a chorus of monkeys.
After the bridge entry the trail widens to about twelve feet of smoothly paved asphalt. This is a perfect destination for runners, walkers and wheels. You name the wheels and you’ll see them on this trail; bikes, strollers, inline skaters, wheel chairs and skate boarders. This is the place for families to be able to go in a group. It’s clean, well-manicured and safe for all ages. Into the evening the paths are lit with LED streetlights and the bridges have under-rail LED rope lighting to illuminate the way.
For those of you with dogs this is a great location to walk them but an even better location to socialize them for training purposes. Dill is still working on his manners so there were plenty of passing dogs and owners to test his sitting and behaving abilities. This continues to be a work in progress for us.
There wasn’t a lot of wildlife to be seen given the newness of the trail and the time of day we went, which was mid-morning. The Gordon River Greenway is exactly the type of Boardwalk Park that is simply going to get better with time as the vegetation fills out and more wildlife moves back. We were able to see a variety of birds and butterflies plus on our way out I noticed a fiery Catesby’s lily that I had missed on the way in.
As we left we did run by the North parking lot just to check it out. Not far from the picnic tables there are some gorgeous pink and white lilies floating in the retention pond just waiting for you to take a picture so swing by before winter steals their water.
When you go, here are a few tips.
· Parking and entry is free.
· No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
· This is a “pack your trash” out park so there are no garbage cans on the trail.
· Pack your dog poo, too, so don’t forget the bags.
· Bring water, there are no vending machines.
· There are several covered places to sit and benches along the way.
· Talk to people on the trail. They’re from all over the world and they so want to know more about Southwest Florida.
Happy trails and boardwalks!
*this article is special to Southwest Spotlight magazine, delivered to homes in Southwest Florida and available in lobbie and sitting areas of local businesses.