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.
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.
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.