(Last Updated On: December 6, 2022)

sunset over Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Picturesque Estero Bay Preserve State Park lies just 22 miles south of Fort Myers in Estero, Florida. This public recreation area consists of mainly undeveloped land, inlets and islands along 10 miles of Estero Bay.

This peaceful preservation area features trails for walking, mountain biking and kayaking, and observation decks along the coastal marshland for a closer look at the park’s native wildlife. Guests also enjoy fishing, bird watching and picnicking here.

Activities

Come spend a few peaceful days inside Estero Bay and fish, hike, picnic, kayak and bird watch. Pack a picnic lunch and hike out to the river along the trails inside the park. A picnic area and restrooms are located at the entrance to the trailhead.

Nearby Koreshan State Park features overnight accommodations for guests wishing to stay in the area. They have campsites for tents and RVs. From there you can rent a canoe or kayak and explore the waterways between the 2 Florida state parks.

Here are some activities that you can do during your visit to Estero Bay Preserve State Park:

Boating at Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Bring your kayak or canoe and spend a relaxing day paddling along the 7,000 acres of mangroves within the park. This is a great way to see the undeveloped areas along the shoreline and out to Estero Bay. Public boat launches are available at nearby Lovers Key State Park and Koreshan State Park. Kayak and canoe rentals are available at Koreshan State Park.

Hiking at Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Estero Bay Preserve State Park features two separate trail systems for guests to explore. The Winkler Point Trails contain 6 miles through the woods and out to the river, and the Estero River Scrub Trails feature 10 miles through the park’s wetlands.

A pavilion and restroom is located at the trailhead to both sections of trails. Some important archaeological sites also lie within the park and are interesting features to hike out to. One of these sites is the Island of Mound Key.

Here are a couple of the trails at Estero Bay Preserve State Park:

  • Estero River Scrub Preserve Trail – A moderate 4.6 mile loop that leads through pine flatwoods and tidal salt flats and out to the river. The best time of year to hike this trail is between October and May, otherwise it may be wet or even flooded in spots. Benches are located along its path for guests to stop and enjoy the peacefulness and nature all around.
  • Winkler Trail – An easy 3 mile loop along the wet flatwoods, mangroves and salt marsh. Observation decks along the marsh offer spectacular views of the tidal pond. This trail may be impassable during wet seasons.

Biking at Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Enjoy a peaceful ride along the Estero River Scrub Trails inside Estero Bay Preserve State Park. Bicycles are not allowed on the salt flat trails. Riders under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet.

Fishing at Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Fish from kayak or along the shoreline of the Estero River during your visit to Estero Bay Preserve State Park. Pack your fishing gear and pick up a Florida fishing license and you may catch sea trout, snook, redfish, red drum, pompano, snook, tarpon and mangrove snapper.

Birding at Estero Bay Preserve State Park

The park’s pine flatwoods, coastal dunes, mangroves and along the Estero River offer habitat for both native and migrating birds. Bring along your binoculars and bird list for a chance to see woodpeckers, kingfishers, Swallow-tailed Kites, bald eagles, flycatchers, terns, waders, warblers, Snowy Plover, herons, hawks, sparrows, wrens, storks, American Oystercatcher, Roseate Spoonbill and Black skinners.

Nature and Wildlife at Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Discover the diverse wildlife that live among the park’s wetlands, mangroves, slash pines and live oaks. Estero Bay Preserve State Park provides an important habitat for plants and animals and this preservation area extends along inlets and islands on Estero Bay.

During your visit to this peaceful area you may see alligators, turtles, snakes, lizards, gopher tortoises, birds, fiddler crabs, manatees and squirrels.

Pets at Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Well behaved pets are allowed inside Estero Bay Preserve State Park as long as they are supervised and kept on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet.

Camping Near Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Estero Bay Preserve State Park features day only activities at this time. For overnight accommodations check out nearby Koreshan State Park located at 3800 Corkscrew Road.

This park features 60 campsites with water and electric hookups plus another 12 tent-only primitive sites. Each campsite has picnic tables and fire rings and access to the bathhouse that also contains a laundry facility and vending machines.

Park Location

Estero Bay Preserve State Park
4940 Broadway West
Estero, FL 33928
Phone: 239.992.0311

Park Website

Map