Estero River Canoe Trail takes the paddler on a body of water stretching from Corkscrew Swamp in the east to Estero Bay on the west. The 7-mile canoe trail can be done in one day. The trip follows a maze through a series of mangrove-lined islands and coves. The area can be very confusing if you are not familiar with the trail.
Copyright: Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Koreshan State Historic Site
Freshwater fishing is enjoyed near the park where populations of bluegill, mullet, and catfish can be found. During the colder months, fish the residential canals for snook. Moss-draped live oaks and narrow channels add an element of mystery to the trip. The water becomes noticeably brackish as you approach the Estero Bay. At the Bay, paddlers are advised to avoid the boat channel to the north and paddle along the mangrove edges before retracing a path back to the park. A mild current makes the return trip pleasant and not strenuous. Only expert canoeists should attempt crossing the channel. Do not cross the channel if a light chop is expected. In addition, it is advisable to have a map of the canoe trail and a compass. The park does offer canoe rental.
Park amenities at Koreshan State Historic Site include sights of a turn-of-the century religious sect village, a full-service campground, a picnic area with children's playground, and a boat launch. Special events are held throughout the year. Park has current information pertaining to the events.
Directions from Fort Myers, FL: Travel Interstate 75 to exit 19. Take Corkscrew Road about 2 miles west to the park entrance. The entrance is just past U.S. Highway 41. Following the main park road, bearing left at the fork.
Directions from Bonita Beach: Travel 2 miles north to Carl Johnson County Park (state-owned since 1996) located on the east side of CR 865. From the park's entrance, travel to the far end of the second parking lot. Here rests a picnic area and canoe launch.