A unique experience of how some opted to live, Koreshan State Park is a fascinating journey back in time.
Koreshan State Park offers a window into the lives of a unique and eccentric pioneer group that chose to make their home under towering oaks on the banks of the Estero River.
In 1893, the Koreshans, a religious sect founded by Dr. Cyrus R. Teed, moved here and built a settlement based in a commitment to communal living and a belief that the universe existed on the inside of the Earth. Living celibate lives, the enterprising Koreshans established a farm, nursery, and botanical gardens.
The park is home to 11 immaculately restored and nationally registered historic buildings erected by the Koreshans between the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. A quiet and peaceful refuge amid busy Fort Myers, the interpretative and natural resources of the park provide great opportunities to learn and unwind.
Koreshan State Park offers 60 campsites, all with electricity and water, a picnic table and fire ring. Twelve sites are designated tent camping only and located next to the Estero River. Four paved ADA campsites are available. Sites have a vegetation buffer between them for privacy. Fire wood and ice are available for campers at the ranger station. The picnic area with a playground is a short walk away. A dump station is available for RV campers. Other amenities include a utility area with a washer, dryer and sinks, a soft drink vending machine and a volleyball court. Well behaved and leashed pets are welcome in the campground.
Maximum RV length = 40 ft.
Hammocks are allowed to be used in campsites number 10, 19, 23, 24, 26, 36, 40 and 60 and must be set-up using straps at least 2 inches wide on trees at least 12 inches in diameter. Ropes are not permitted.
Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.
Canoeing and kayaking on the Estero River is a popular activity at the park. The river is a brackish tidal waterway which leads to the Estero Bay approximately 3 miles west. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent. Rentals available until 3 pm December thru March and until 4 pm April thru November.
There are several spots along the river for fishing. The Estero River is brackish with snook, mullet, redfish and other popular game fish. Freshwater bass can be caught in the summer and fall high water months. The Estero Bay is located about 3 miles by canoe down the river. It offers abundant saltwater fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities.
All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Explore the park in a new and challenging way. Experienced Geocachers have requested permission to hide caches containing trinkets, treasures, or information in various places around the park. Please check the Geocaching website for the most current and up-to-date information and clues to locate these caches.
Operation Recreation GeoTour
The park features a hiking trail along the river and a running trail along the park boundary that takes you through a pine flatwoods habitat.
The picnic area is located on the Estero River and is well shaded by Pine trees. Also found there are grills, restrooms and a playground. Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited, except during park-sanctioned events where alcohol is permitted within designated areas.
Bobcats, grey foxes, river otters and alligators can all be found along the Estero River. During the winter, manatees frequent our waters. Koreshan is great for bird watching as it is home to over 100 bird species. Among them are swallow-tail kites, bald eagles, bobwhites, belted kingfishers and many wading bird species
Today the park maintains the heart of Dr. Teed's 'New Jerusalem' as it would have appeared more than 100 years ago in the early 20th century. Eleven buildings on the National Register of Historic Places that date from 1882 to 1920 are located throughout the landscaped grounds that include ornamentally landscaped Victorian Gardens. Visitors can get a glimpse of how the Koreshans lived from the Founders House, Planetary Court, Damkohler, Vesta Newcomb and Members Cottages within the settlement. Their role in commerce and industry is evident in the Bakery, New Store, Large and Small Machine Shops and the Generator Building. Last, but not least, their contribution to local culture is evident in the Art Hall. ADA access is available to the major buildings; however, due to their small size and historical nature, access to the smaller cottages is not possible. Please contact park staff should you require any assistance.
Interpretive exhibits can be found in many of the historic structures in the settlement depicting the life and culture of the Koreshans.
Pets are welcome in the park if they are kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and are well behaved and maintained at all times.
For added enjoyment, the park has a children's playground located in the picnic area.
A boat ramp is available. Maximum boat length 24'.
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