A Unique Paddle Through Koreshan State Park
Have you been to Koreshan? This Florida State Park is right off US 41 and Corkscrew Road in Estero and is a hidden gem to those who haven’t visited.
Koreshan State Park - by Bill Jerome
In 1894, Dr. Cyrus R. Teed relocated his utopian community of 200 followers from Chicago to Estero to form the “New Jerusalem” for his new faith, Koreshanity. They built and operated their own store, bakery, sawmill, and other community pillars, some of which you can still see and tour today!
The Historic Site
Walking down the gravel roads between the 11 remaining structures that date from 1882 to 1920 is a unique step back in time. The homes and buildings give you a glimpse at the lifestyle, while the park staff share stories that have been passed on. On Sundays, there’s a Farmer’s Market where you can enjoy local goods and a bit of local history at the same time. Plus, there’s a campground where you can stay and enjoy the beautiful park grounds.
The Estero River
The unexpected “hidden gem” of the park is actually along the Estero River. Paddling “inland” you wind through mangrove-lined shore banks before reaching the Koreshan General Store and crossing under US 41.
From here, it feels as if you’re paddling through “Old Florida” with mature oak trees stretching over the river creating a canopy to pass under. The road noise disappears and the stillness of the river creates a peaceful paddle experience. Wind your way up the river and look down into the water to see fish and crabs swimming about.
You might see a turtle sunbathing on a rock, or birds in the trees above. There’s always a chance of seeing an alligator (this is Florida after all), but they aren’t commonly found in this river since it is saltier brackish water that dumps into the Estero Bay.
If you haven’t visited Koreshan State Park - do it! You don’t need to plan far in advance, just hop in the car one lazy Sunday and enjoy the best of this Florida State Park. For more information about the park, the amenities, the fee to enter, etc., visit the website by clicking here.