Visiting Keewaydin Island
Welcome aboard the Water WUBER, your transportation to and from Keewaydin Island. You are about to embark on a Great Day! There are lots of things to see, do and learn while on the Island. Keewaydin is the largest unbridged island in the chain of Ten Thousands. It is also one of the only islands in the chain that has and holds fresh water. Because of this, the Island is home to a wide variety of wildlife. You can find hundreds of White Tail Key Deer. There have been a few Bobcats, Black Bears, Pigs, Hogs, Turkeys and even a few Florida Panthers have been tracked on and off the Island. There are thousands of raccoons and millions of mosquitoes and no-see-ums!
Keewaydin Island is approximately eight (8) miles long and about a half (1/2) a mile wide. It is bordered on the inside by the inland waterway that runs between Naples and Marco Island and the outside by the GULF OF MEXICO. The entire beach is open to the general public to enjoy. However, at the northern end of the Island there is a stretch of privately owned properties that the public is NOT ALLOWED to trespass on! The beach is open; please DO NOT trespass on anyone’s PRIVATE PROPERTY! THIS IS A BIG NO NO! If you stay within 50’ feet of the water, you are good!
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you are prepared for your day on the Island. There are a few items that will make your day much more comfortable that you may want to bring with you. Remember there are no stores on the Island. WHAT YOU HAVE IS WHAT YOU BRING!!! The most important thing is WATER! WATER! WATER! You will want to stay hydrated. HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE! A good rule of thumb is one 16 oz bottle of water for every hour you plan on being on the Island. It does not need to be cold. It just needs to be wet! We recommend you bring a backpack to carry your items. We suggest you bring:
BOTTLED WATER – One 16 oz bottle for every hour you plan on spending on the Island
SUNSCREEN – 50 SPF or higher. The sun is HOT and shade is limited
INSECT REPELLENT – Remember this is a habitat for bugs and there are a lot of them!
CAMERA – Waterproof if possible. There are some beautiful pictures to be had!
SHELLING BAG – A fruit bag works great for this. Bring a few -- for Shells and Trash.
LUNCH – Granola Bars, Fruit, Apples, Oranges, Nuts or any snacks
MASK and SNORKLE – Water goggles work good too.
TRASH BAG – It is VERY important to leave the Island CLEANER than we found it!!
PHONE – Extra battery if you have one. Turn OFF WiFi and BLUE TOOTH. Not available and they waste battery life. A PHONE IS YOUR LIFE LINE ON THE ISLAND! USE IT SPARINGLY!!
HAT – AGAIN THE SUN IS BRUTAL! YOU NEED PROTECTION FROM IT!!!
SHOES – Foot protection is a good idea. There can be sharp objects washed up on the beach. I suggest sneakers, water shoes, flip flops. You can always carry them but don’t go without!
Things To Do On The Island
Shelling – Keewaydin has been written up in travel magazines and featured on the Travel Channel as one of the top 10 Beaches in the WORLD for shelling. Best after a big storm rolls through or after high surf advisory, a whole new batch of shells are washed up on the beach.
Bird Watching – We have thousands of birds that call Keewaydin home. Herons, Egrets, Pelicans, Woodpeckers, Ospreys, Hawks, Spoonbills, Eagles, just to name a few!
Fishing – Must have a license! Lots of Snook, Redfish and Tarpon off the beach!
Sun Bathing – Bring an umbrella
Swimming - Water is gin clear most of the time!
Exercising - Whether you run, walk or do Yoga, it's better on the BEACH!
Reading a Good Book – bring a chair!
Kayaking or Paddle Boarding – Yes, you can bring yours call for details! 239-253--3670
PLAN YOUR DAY AND BRING A FRIEND!
***There are Four (2) designated drop off and pick up areas that we use on the Island**
Mid-Point - Inside intercoastal (aka) Rookery Bay Trail at marker #48
Southern End - About ½ mile from the Southern tip. ** Also known as PARTY BEACH **
**THE SAND BAR**
** NOTICE TO ALL **
At the Southern End of the Island is where the most human activity will be on any given day! Holidays and weekends especially! There can be one boat on the beach or hundreds of boats on the beach and in the near proximity of the beach. There are also food concession boats (like food trucks). They sell hot dogs, hamburgers and other food items. There is even an Ice Cream Boat! Snow cones, bottled water, soda and even adult beverages are sold here as well. So be prepared with some $$ if you want to partake in food or beverages.
Camping on the Southern end of the Island is allowed. Call for details or private drop-off.
Dogs are allowed on the island provided they are on a leash and you pick up after them.
Laws and Rules About the Island:
Because we want to PRESERVE and HAVE this BEAUTIFUL ISLAND FOR YEARS TO COME it is EXTREMELY important that we respect and take care of it! There are some guidelines we expect our visitors to follow when visiting the Island. If we do this then it will be a place for us and our kids to enjoy for years to come!!
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: Patrols the Island by boat and by ATV. They are serious about their job of protecting the Island! If they see you doing something you should not be doing they can, and WILL, arrest you! I have seen them do it more than once in my life. THEY DO NOT PLAY GAMES!
Conservancy of Southwest Florida: Patrols the beaches, concentrating on the birds that inhabit the island. If you see an injured bird (do not touch), please call the Conservancy directly.
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: Patrols the beaches as well, concentrating their efforts towards the Turtles and Wildlife. They look for new turtle nests and will put a cage or fence around these nests in an effort to keep the raccoons and armadillos from digging up the nests and eating the eggs. They usually mark these nests with a colored ribbon. Please keep at least 10’ feet away from any nest.
TURTLE NESTS – Summer time is turtle nesting season. DO NOT TOUCH the turtles or bother their nests (keeping at least 10' from the nest)! If you should see a sea turtle on the beach, please give them plenty of room! Walk way around them as this could disrupt their nesting pattern and harm our environment.
Please do not bring back any LIVE shells. If you pick up a shell and there is a critter in it, you must leave it on the beach.
Please do not cut/break or pull any vegetation from the island.
Please stay out of any area that is growing sea grass or sea grapes. These areas are crucial for keeping beach erosion from happening (helps hold the sand in place during tropical storms, depressions and low pressure and high winds). KEEP OFF THE GRASS!
If you see any wildlife while on the island, please keep clear of them. if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you!
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