In Southwestern Florida near Fort Myers and south of Tampa, Koreshan State Historic Site was once the site of a religious group, the Koreshan Unity, until they deeded the land to the state of Florida in 1961. The Koreshans imported and grew a number of non-native plant species in the area, including trees from Australia, Africa, and other fruit trees including mango, as well as a massive amount of Japanese bamboo that originated from the Edison and Ford Winter Estates from Fort Myers.
Wildlife at Koreshan State Historic Site is also plentiful and diverse and includes tortoises, bobcats, river otters, alligators, and many different birds. The remnants of the Koreshan community settlement are still viewable; there are 11 historic buildings where you can see how the Koreshans lived in an earlier era. There are interpretive exhibits and even guided tours where you can learn about the Floridian settlers.
Visitors to Koreshan State Historic Site can enjoy an array of recreational activities, from fishing and boating to hiking, picnicking, and more. The park’s campground has a total of 60 sites for overnight guests. All sites come with electricity and water hookups, and there is easy access to a playground and picnic area. There are also a hiking trail along the river and a running trail along the park boundary.
On the water, you can bring your canoe or kayak, or rent one and boat on the Estero River. Guided paddling tours are also available. Fishing on the river may yield snook, mullet, redfish, and even freshwater bass in the summer and fall. Fishing licenses are required. Koreshan State Historic Site is open every day from 8:00 AM to sunset. There is a $5 charge per vehicle for entrance. Pedestrians or bicyclists only pay $2.
Camping fees and boat launch fees are separate. Leashed pets are welcome at Koreshan State Historic Site. Be respectful of park rules and other guests; clean up pet waste and only bring well-behaved dogs. In Southern Florida, Koreshan State Historic Site offers a prime opportunity to enjoy a unique outdoor recreation area with history and plenty to see and do.