The paths and boardwalk around the Gordon River are like taking a run through the Everglades. The Gordon River Greenway offers an easy and convenient taste of Florida wildlife, through a 126-acre natural area in the heart of Naples. It’s 2 miles from downtown and just north of the airport. The first phase of the pathway opened in 2014 and the pavement is smooth and 12 feet wide and runs 1.5 miles, winding through a mixture of palm trees, pine flatwoods, and scrubland. The trail is interspersed with elevated boardwalk sections over wetlands, where you can watch for birds, tortoises, and other wildlife. Bump-outs on bridge crossings over the Gordon River provide spots to pause and enjoy the views.
Start at Gordon River Greenway Park, just south of the zoo. There are a couple of options here: head easy for 0.2 miles and then at an intersection, take a left for an 0.3 mile spur. Return to the junction point and then head another 0.1 miles to the end, and a junction with a north-south boardwalk section. Turn left to head north to the end, another 0.3 miles. The main north-south Gordon River Greenway Path is 1.2 miles. With all the spurs, it’s a 3.5 mile run.
If you would like to add to this 3 mile RT run, Freedom Park has about 2 miles of pedestrian-only trails, mainly a boardwalk going over a swampy area.