When out-of-towners come to visit, the place that I love taking them to experience Southwest Florida isn’t the beach, but Koreshan State Park located on U.S. 41 at Corkscrew Road in Estero, Florida. Even when it’s just my family though, we typically head over to Koreshan at least once or twice-a-month for some outdoor family fun.
While the religious history of the Koreshan settlers is interesting to share with guests, it’s the grounds that are particularly beautiful to explore. The park has a hiking trail through a pine flatwood habitat along the Estero River and historic structures that date from 1882-1920 on display. Along the walking trails, there are placards that identify different vegetation for self-guided education, although the park also offers ranger-guided walks on certain days too ($2.00 per adult, $1.00 per child). My favorite site along the easy trail is the tall bamboo shoots and hearing the creaking noises it makes when the wind shakes them, such a unique experience.
You can also rent kayaks or canoes and paddle along the brackish tidal waterway that leads to the Estero Bay approximately 3 miles west. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot manatees and other animals along the way. Fortunately, most of the water way is shaded too.
Great for Families
Koreshan is also a favorite spot of mine to go with my kids. Especially on a Sunday, when it’s only $1 to park to attend their Farmer’s Market for local produce. If you want to experience the rest of the park though you have to pay full admission, which is $5.
Our Sunday routine at Koreshan State Park is ordering a crepe and then taking the half-hour trail to the playground (the payoff for my boys) and then back again for veggies and fruit to-go. I love that this easy to do activity gets my boys outside, eating healthy and gives me the chance to get some exercise too. Best of all, it’s a fun activity we can all do together as a family.