A Scenic Park with an Interesting Past & lots to see and do
Koreshan State Park is a 200-acre park located in Estero, Florida. Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking, picnicking, canoeing/kayaking, and camping. In addition to all these fun activities, visitors to the park can stroll through and take a self-guided tour of the historic site of what was once the Koreshan Unity Settlement. Guided tours are available on select days with a cost of $10 per person ages 12 and up.
A Little History
The Koreshan Unity was founded in the late 1800s by Dr. Cyrus Teed, and in 1894 Teed brought his followers to Estero, Florida. Dr. Teed set out to create a Utopia or what he called a “New Jerusalem,” A life without crime, tobacco, or drugs. Those who joined the cooperative order either brought shares in or worked in the Koreshan Unity industries. Economically, all needs were met and financial security was assured. Religiously, they were Christians but in the way, they thought Christianity was meant to be. The Unity provided social activities, entertainment, and classical education with vocational training to their members.
Education played a key part in the Koreshan Unity as Dr. Teed believed a person should be prepared to lead a useful and productive, happy life. Unity members were provided jobs in the settlement businesses, such as the bakery, printing shop, machine shop, boat works, agriculture, sewing shop, construction, post office, and general store.
After Dr. Teed died in 1908, membership went into a decline, and In 1961, the last four members deeded 305 acres of their land to the state of Florida. What remains of their once vibrant community are 11 beautifully maintained historic structures that date from 1882 to 1920 and landscaped grounds that include unique ornamental exotic vegetation from throughout the world. The Koreshan Unity Settlement is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The dinner bell marks the location of the original three-story dining hall.
The upper floors were dormitories for women and children. Once the tallest structure in Lee County, the dining hall was demolished in 1949.
Other fun things to do at Koreshan State Park
Pack a picnic and enjoy your lunch under the shade of a beautiful tree.
A well shaded picnic area complete with playground, restroom facilities and a river view is located near the campgrounds.
A nature trail meanders along the beautiful and scenic Estero river. Lined with bamboo left over from the Koreshan settlement, the nature trail is home to over 100 bird species, including bald eagles. Other animals that hikers may spot are bobcats, gray foxes, river otters and alligators.
The Estero River provides a peaceful paddle along a winding river lined with pine, oak and palm trees. From the Estero River, paddlers have access to the nearby saltwater of Estero Bay. Bring your fishing pole in your canoe or kayak; the snook are abundant in this area.
There are sixty campsites at Koreshan State Park. All sites are equipped with electricity, water, a picnic table, and a fire ring. A utility area with a washer and dryer, sinks, and a vending machine is also located within the campground. There is no sewer hookup; however, a dump station is provided. Maximum RV length = 40 ft. Twelve tent-only campsites are located by the river.
For your convenience here is a link to the Florida State Park Reservations Page.
Be sure to watch this video View of our Visit
Koreshan State Park is located at 3800 Corkscrew Road in Estero, Florida. Hours are 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days. The historic settlement is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Entrance fee is $5 per vehicle.
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