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Estero Bay and River... Paddling in Southwest Florida

The designated paddling trail on the Estero River runs 9 miles between Koreshan State Historic Site and Lovers Key. Other paddling is throughout Estero Bay including Mound Key and Big Hickory Island, and on the 190-mile Great Calusa Blueway from Ft. Myers to Bonita Beach. (Detailed map, photos and more description below.)



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Distance: Varies; 9 miles from Koreshan State Park to Lovers Key.
Location: Lee County (Estero, south of Ft. Myers)
Difficulty: Moderate
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: Koreshan State Historic Site, Lovers Key State Park (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: Estero, Bonita Springs, Lovers Key State Park (links, above right)
Nearby points of interest: Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Edison and Ford Winter Homes

Lovers Key State Park is a 700-acre park comprised of four islands, canals and lagoons. A prime wildlife and bird watching location, the park includes picnic facilities, 5-mile bicycle trail, bicycle and canoe/kayak rentals, fishing, and a 2.5 mile beach.

Koreshan State Historic Site was originally founded in 1894 by Cyrus Reed Teed as a religious community (Koreshan Unity) which believed that the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere. Family members deeded the land to the state in 1961. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, 11 of the original buildings remain. The park includes a campground in addition to picnic area, playground, canoe/kayak rental, and hiking trails.

Mound Key Archaeological State Park in Estero Bay is accessible only by boat. There are no facilities, a hiking trail has interpretative markers. The 30-foot mounds are remnants of the Calusa Indians who inhabited the site.

Paddling at Estero Bay and River
(hover over photo for larger view)
Lovers Key
Paddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River, Lovers Key - Kayak, Canoe
         
Big Hickory Island
Paddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, CanoePaddle Estero River,Big Hickory Island - Kayak, Canoe
         

More information on paddling on Estero Bay and River (opens in a new window):

- Florida Greenways and Trail - Estero Bay and River Paddling Trail

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