Estero is no longer the tangled jungle of vegetation it was when Cyrus Teed started his utopian community along the river at Koreshan, but it still has small pockets of “Old Florida” along the river, as well as access to large swaths of public land preserving where the waters meet the bay.
In a hidden corner of Collier County, Barefoot Beach Preserve provides immersion in nature at a beauty spot along two miles of natural shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico just north of Wiggins Pass.
At Lovers Key State Park, head to the north end of the island to explore the Black Island Trail, a series of loops on “created” land.
Providing a buffer between the heavily developed Gulf Coast between Fort Myers and Estero and the delicate estuaries that serve as nurseries for the aquatic life of the region, Estero Bay Preserve State Park encompasses ten miles of shoreline along Estero Bay.
A tough hike when it’s wet, Estero Scrub Preserve State Park has several loops through wet flatwoods and tidal marshes along the rim of Estero Bay
When Dr. Cyrus Teed founded a commune along the banks of the Estero River in 1894, he envisioned a utopia in the tropics. Koreshan State Park preserves that slice of history.
With a name straight out of tourist fantasies of 1950s Florida, Lovers Key State Park is a series of slim barrier islands between Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Fort Myers Beach.
Articles about Estero
At the Koreshan Unity in Estero, Florida, a group of believers gathered in 1894 to build their paradise. It is now a National Historic Site and a Florida State Park. Walk the trails and streets of “New Jerusalem” to learn its story.
A conservationist and a Floridian who truly made a difference for Florida, Ellen Peterson, founded Florida’s Sierra Club chapter in the 1970s and fought to keep Fisheating Creek open to paddlers. She leaves behind a sterling legacy for our state.
Encompassing the northwestern edge of the Big Cypress Swamp – CREW, or Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed – protects more than 60,000 acres of wetlands between Estero and Immokalee. While they’ve had access for years to a trail system showcasing pine flatwoods and marsh ecosystems off CR 850, they’ve recently unveiled a brand-new trail system leading …