Koreshan State Park features a campground that RVers will not want to miss. Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, or hiking, this peaceful location on the Estero River offers outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. This park also offers an opportunity to step back in time while visiting the Koreshan State Historic Site which includes several restored buildings built by the Koreshan Unity Settlement in the late 1800s.
Dr. Cyrus R. Teed founded the Koreshan Unity Settlement in the 1860s, based on Utopian ideals and moved to this site in 1894 to establish a community where they could practice their beliefs freely. Some of their ideals included the belief that the earth and sky exist together within a giant sphere, communal living, and reincarnation. This group was hard-working and established their own bakery, general store, power station, and printing house all within their settlement. After Dr. Teed passed away in 1908, the community gradually dwindled until in 1961 the last remaining members donated the land to the Florida State Parks.
Today you can visit any of the 11 nationally-registered historic buildings which were built by the Koreshan community. You can choose to take a guided tour of the settlement or just wander on your own, exploring the buildings, farm, botanical gardens or the bamboo forest. Whether you're a history buff or a nature lover Koreshan State Park offers a unique getaway for your next RV adventure.
RV Rentals in Koreshan State Park
Transportation in Koreshan State Park
Koreshan State Park is conveniently located just off of Florida Interstate Hwy 41, also known as the Tamiami Trail. The park is directly between Fort Meyers and the town of Naples, being a half-hour’s drive away from either city on I-75 or I-41. You won’t have to pull your RV through awkward city streets, as the exit from the highway is less than a mile from the Tamiami Trail.
With only 49 RV sites, this is a smaller campground. The sites themselves are long enough to park your rig, but there are no extra parking lots to accommodate RVs or extra vehicles. The RV sites are all back-in. Some campers have mentioned that some of the sites are better for longer rigs than others. There is a parking area by the boat ramp. If you choose to drive your tow vehicle over to tour the Koreshan Historic Site adjacent to the campground, there is also day parking available there.
Campgrounds and parking in Koreshan State Park
Campsites in Koreshan State Park
Fort Myers / Pine Island KOA
Visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, cruise to the local islands off the Gulf Coast, or eat all the seafood you desire at the many restaurants nearby. The lush, lakeside sites of Fort Myers/Pine Island KOA make a pleasant base, offering full hookup sites powered by up to 50-amps. Some are deluxe patio sites where pets are welcome. You’ll find plenty of amenities like Wi-Fi, cable TV, a Kamping kitchen, pool, and hot tub/sauna. Firewood and propane available on-site.
Koreshan State Park Campground
Koreshan State Park features 60 campsites. 11 of them are tent only sites. The other 49 campsites are back-in RV sites offering 30 or 50 amp electric hookups and water hookups. There are no sewer hookups, but there is a dump station at the campground. There are four paved ADA campsites. Generator use is allowed except during quiet hours. Pets are allowed, but pet owners are expected to maintain them in the designated places.
Most of the campsites are sand or packed dirt. The back-in sites are fairly level with shade and vegetation between sites. Some visitors find that the spaces are tight and difficult to maneuver in a larger rig. There are two bathroom facilities at the campground, and one of them has showers and laundry attached. Kids can play on the playground next to the pavilion and picnic area. Firewood and ice are available at the Ranger’s Station.
All campsites at Koreshan State Park can be reserved online or by calling the Florida State Parks toll free phone number. Reservations can be made from one night up to 11 months in advance. Reservations are highly recommended, as the campground is busy. You may stay for up to 14 consecutive nights at this Florida State Park.
Even if you do not have a reservation, you can show up in person and see if there are any sites available that have not been already reserved online.
Seasonal activities in Koreshan State Park
The Koreshan Nature Trail is an easy one-and-a-half-mile loop that will get you out of the RV and into nature. You can walk through the bamboo forest planted by the Koreshan Unity Settlement a hundred years ago. There are also nice views of the river from the trail. You may catch some of the wildlife while hiking, including tortoises, geckos, and butterflies. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be kept on a leash.
Some say the best fishing in Florida can be found here. The brackish water leads to a great diversity of fish that can be caught in the Estero River and Estero Bay. Largemouth bass, tilapia, and sunfish frequent the waters in the river. Brackish game fish such as redfish, tarpon, and snook can also be found in Estero River.
Before you throw out your line, be sure to check with the Florida Wildlife Commission to find out if you need a fishing license and what the current fishing regulations are. Once you do that you are free to get the fishing gear out of the camper.
Paddling on the Estero River
The peaceful Estero River runs alongside the Koreshan State Park campground, where canoeing and kayaking are popular activities. The brackish water leads to Estero Bay which is about three miles away. There is a boat ramp where you can launch your own boat or rent one for the day. RV campers will want to check with a ranger to see if there are any guided boat tours available during their stay.
Enjoying the Bamboo Forest
The Koreshans planted many non-native plant species to keep their community going in the late 1800s. Among these, the bamboo plants are believed to have been donated by the famous inventor, Thomas Edison. The bamboo plants have become highly invasive and now grow over most of the park's nature trail. While usually parks try to control and limit non-native species, in this case, the bamboo is considered a cultural resource and it is maintained. Visitors can enjoy the sounds of the wind blowing through the tall bamboo trees as they stroll through the bamboo forest as the Koreshans once did.
Shopping at the Farmer's Market
If your RV is parked here over a weekend, you can enjoy the farmer's market offered on Sunday mornings. The market is open year-round and sells local produce as well as native plants. There are a few food vendors and local crafts vendors as well. It is not a large market but truly has local flavor. Dogs on leashes are welcome.
Exploring the Koreshan Historic Settlement
The Utopian society founded by Dr. Cyrus Teed in the late 1800s is the namesake for this national park. The last remaining members of this religious cult donated 305 acres to the Florida State Park system in 1961. Since then, there are 11 original buildings that are maintained and open to the public. Rangers lead guided historic tours through the arts center, the Damkohler house, and Planetary court. In the industrial area of the park there is a cafe where you can even sample the food that the members of the Koreshan community ate.