Activities

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Bicycling icon

Estero Bay - Bicycling

Off road cycling is available at the Estero River Scrub Trails. Riders are asked to please not ride on the salt flats which is not healthy for this habitat nor your bicycle due to the high salt content of the water and/or soil.

Bicycles are not permitted at the Winkler Point Trails.

Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.

Boating icon

Estero Bay - Boating

With over 7,000 acres of mangroves, the water is the best way to experience this part of the Preserve. The majority of the undeveloped inland shore, islands and waterways of the Estero Bay are all part of the Preserve.

Public boat launches are available at Lovers Key State Park and Koreshan State Historic Site.

Canoeing and Kayaking icon

Estero Bay - Canoeing and Kayaking

With over 7,000 acres of mangroves, the water is the best way to experience this part of the Preserve. The majority of the undeveloped inland shore, islands and waterways of the Estero Bay are all part of the Preserve. Paddling is a great way to explore the shallow waters of the Bay and all of the intimate details it has to offer.

Public boat launches are available at Lovers Key State Park and Koreshan State Historic Site.

Fishing icon

Estero Bay - Fishing

Fishing in the Estero River can be done by hiking 0.75 miles to the end of the blue trail at the Estero River Scrub.

Florida fishing license may be required.

Geoseeking icon

Estero Bay - Geo-Seeking

Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.

The Operation Recreation GeoTour hosted by Geocaching.com, stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 71 of the First Three Time National Gold Medal Award Winning Florida State Parks and Trails. Visit 20 caches and win the Official Operation Recreation Geocoin. Download and print the Official Tracking Sheet to begin your adventure. Remember to cache and save with unlimited entry for a year with the Florida State Parks Annual Pass.

The Florida Park Service is proud to announce it has launched the Operation Recreation Kids GeoTour. Look inside Operation Recreation GeoTour geocaches for one of six possible Nature Cards. Every cache has one of six species. Record the name of the Florida State Park where you first find each of the six species on the Kids Official Tracking Sheet. Find all six species and win the ORGT Kids GeoTour Geocoin!

Hiking and nature trail icon

Estero Bay - Hiking Nature Trail

Estero Bay Preserve State Park has two trail systems.

The Estero River Scrub has four marked trails with a combined length of about 10 miles. These trails meander through pine flatwoods, tidal salt flats and lead to the Estero River. The trails here are seasonally wet. Best times to visit are typically October through May when the trails are at their driest.

The Winkler Point trails have three loops totaling six miles. Here the trails take you through wet flatwoods, salt marshes and mangroves. There are two observation decks overlooking tidal ponds and are a good place to view waterfowl and wading birds. This area is very seasonally wet and the trails are difficult to maintain due to the hydrology of the site with trails completely submerged most of the year. Best times to visit are typically January through May when the trails are at their driest.

Wildlife viewing icon

Estero Bay - Wildlife Viewing

The Preserve has a diverse array of wildlife that can be seen. From the uplands to the wetlands and submerged areas a variety of opportunities await. This is also a great place to observe migratory bird species that stop over or winter in south Florida.