This is number 18 in my series of places to parent alone in Naples, Florida. Keeping children active and engaged is not just a good way to break up the day. It’s also a way to make quality time and memories. Whether you are divorced, separated or just keeping the kids busy for the day, I hope you can use these suggestions to enjoy time with your children on your own terms. When I’m not lawyering, I’m being a dad.
Most parks in Southwest Florida are out east in the swampy everglades. Not really places you can run and explore in like parks up north. Koreshan State Park is just north of Naples in Estero, Florida just off of the Tamiami train and Corkscrew road. Koreshan state park is a pine flatwoods habitat right up against the gulf of Mexico. There are fields and trails not just boardwalks through a swamp like other Florida parks.
Koreshan state park is open from 8 AM until sunset. It is $ 5 per car to enter the park.
This one of the few areas in Southwest Florida where you can go camping by reserving a camping spot. Book online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
There is hiking, trails and plenty of places to have a picnic at the Koreshan state park. You’re likely to see a ton of wildlife, including bald eagles and bobcats. Dogs are welcome so long as they are leashed.
Koreshan state park has the Estero river flowing through it. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent and a guided tour is available.
The Estero river is brackish water, meaning a mix between salt and fresh water. Fish love this environment! Bring some fishing poles and buy some frozen shrimp as bait. Also, bring a fishing license.
Koreshan state park openly welcomes any geocachers. Geocaching is a great activity for kids. Geocaching uses handheld GPS units to find hidden “caches” in placed by others. Caches are containers of all sizes that may be camouflaged to blend into their surroundings. You just need a smart phone to follow the GPS coordinates and possibly uncover some “treasure” that someone has hidden for you and your kids.
On Sundays, Koreshan park hosts a farmers market where local farmers, fishermen and craftsmen sell their wares.
The Koreshan state park has several big old wood buildings from the turn of the last century. This is where it really gets interesting. The Koreshan state park used to be the site of a cult/religious community from the 1890s called Koreshan Unity. This is such a great opportunity to expose your children to a weird religion without being bigoted towards a currently existing community. For example, the Koreshans believed that we lived inside a hallow globe. The Koreshans also believed that it’s members should be celibate…so there aren’t Koreshans left.
The Koreshans did eventually leave the state this big park and lots of beautiful old buildings. So, thank you, Koreshans.
Koreshan state park is just 20 miles from my Naples, Florida law office. Directions below: