CREW Wildlife and Environmental Area

Managed in cooperation with
South Florida Water Management District

 

photo of wildlife viewing platform

CREW WEA consists of three units-Corkscrew Marsh, Flint Pen Strand, and Bird Rookery Swamp-totaling greater than 28,000 acres and is part of the 60,000-acre Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed land acquisition project. CREW straddles fast growing Lee and Collier counties. The landscape is a blend of marshes, pinelands, oak hammocks, and cypress swamps. CREW provides critical habitat for the swallow-tailed kite , black bear and Florida panther. On the Corkscrew Marsh Unit are three hiking loops varying in length from one to two miles through three of the area's distinctive natural communities: marsh, hammocks, and pinelands. The marsh trail leads to an observation deck overlooking the expansive marsh, an excellent spot for viewing birds. The Cypress Dome Trail complex is 6 miles of trails winding through cypress, oak hammocks, marsh, and pinelands also in the Corkscrew Marsh Unit at gate 5. The Bird Rookery Swamp Trail and Boardwalk is found in the Bird Rookery unit of the area and is a 12 mile loop trail that goes through a cypress and maple swamp. Hunting is allowed on CREW during the established archery, muzzleloading gun, and general gun seasons. There is also spring turkey season and small game season. Quota hunt permits are required to hunt on the area. Hunting is prohibited in the Corkscrew Marsh hiking trail area and the Bird Rookery Swamp logging trams. Fishing is permitted year round. Camping is allowed, with a permit, at the designated primitive campsite in the Corkscrew Marsh Unit. Contact CREW Land & Water Trust for camping permit (239) 657-2253. Kayaks and canoes are the only types of boats allowed.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "closed to public access" by FWC administrative action.
  • Hunting dogs may be taken onto the WEA after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs or retrievers may be used during general gun and small game seasons. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "closed to public access" by FWC administrative action. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game..



FWC Facts:
The Florida snail kite is aptly named - it feeds almost exclusively on apple snails and, in the United States, is found only in Florida.

Learn More at AskFWC