KORESHAN STATE PARK
Throughout its history, Florida has welcomed pioneers of all kinds. Cyrus Reed Teed was probably the most unusual, bringing followers to Estero in 1894 to build New Jerusalem for his new faith, Koreshanity. The colony, known as the Koreshan Unity, believed that the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere. The colony began fading after Teed?s death in 1908, and in 1961 the last four members deeded the land to the state. Today, visitors can fish, picnic, boat, and hike where Teed?s visionaries once carried out survey experiments to prove the horizon on the beaches of Lee County curves upward. A boat ramp and canoe rentals are available. Visitors can take self-guided tours of the settlement or a ranger-guided tour. For overnight stays, the park has a full-facility campground. Campers can enjoy campfire programs every Friday night from January through March. Located on U.S. 41 at Corkscrew Road.
Bobcats, Grey Foxes, River Otters and Alligators are all found along the Estero River. During the Winter Manatees are found in our waters. Koreshan is great for bird watching as it is home to over a 100 bird species. Among them are Swallow-Tail Kites, Bald Eagles , Bobwhites, Belted Kingfishers and others.
The remains of an unusual pioneer settlement are preserved on the banks of the Estero River. In 1894, a religious visionary named Cyrus Reed Teed brought his followers from Chicago to Estero to construct a "New Jerusalem." Teed hoped it would become a city of 10 million people practicing the religion of Koreshanity.
Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES
The park has 60 wooded campsites. Twelve sites are designated tent camping only and located next to the Estero River. All sites have electric, water, grill and table. Pets are permitted in the campground overnight with current vaccination papers and a wastewater dump station is available for RV campers. A centrally located bathhouse has a utility area with a washer, dryer and sinks. The community campfire circle is for group use, seasonal interpretive programs and camper get-togethers. A volleyball court is next to the campground. The large picnic area has a nature trail, small playground, restroom, many grills and tables. The Estero River borders the park and flows into the Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. There is a boat ramp and canoes are available to rent. The Koreshan Historic Settlement is open daily with guided tours on weekends. For more information on camping in our park simply click on the Reserve America link. Clicking on the park map or selecting one of the camping area links just below the park map will allow you to see a map of the individual campsite locations. Select any campsite icon to see a detailed description of the individual campsite and what it has to offer.
The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. Canoe and kayak rentals are available, providing an opportunity to explore the Estero River which runs through the park. There is also a boat ramp that provides access to this river for those who bring their own watercrafts. Fishing from boats on the river is permitted as long as one possesses Florida fishing licenses.
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 found as you paddle inland away from the Gulf. The Estero Bay is located about 3 miles by canoe down the river. It offers abundant saltwater fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. The bay is home to bottlenose dolphins, manatees and several game fish.