CAYO COSTA STATE PARK
With nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks, and mangrove swamps, this barrier island park is a Gulf Coast paradise. The park is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Visitors may see manatees and pods of dolphins in the waters around the park, as well as a spectacular assortment of birds. On the island, visitors can swim or snorkel in the surf, enjoy the sun, and picnic in the shade. Shelling is especially good during the winter months. Nature trails provide opportunities for hiking and off-road bicycling. Saltwater anglers can fish from their boats or throw a line out into the surf. An amphitheater provides educational programs about the islands ecology and history. For overnight stays, the park offers primitive cabins and tent camping. For ferry information and reservations call (239) 283-0015, located at Pineland Marina, 13921 Waterfront Drive, Pineland, Florida 33945, due East of Cayo Costa and West of Cape Coral and N. Ft. Meyers.
NATURE OF THE AREA
Manatees, porpoises, and a multitude of shorebirds are just a few of the wildlife you may observe during your visit. Sea turtle nesting season begins in May and continues until September. These nests are protected by law and easily recognized by the wooden stakes used to mark them.
HISTORY OF THE AREA
Cayo Costa State Park is located on one of Florida?s largest unspoiled barrier islands. Accessible only by boat, Cayo Costa is located 12 miles west of Cape Coral in Lee County and is part of a chain of barrier islands that shelter Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound. The island, consisting of 2,506 acres, contains unique tropical vegetation and it looks much as it did 500 years ago when the first Europeans arrived here. Because it occurs in the area of transition between the temperate southeastern coastal plain and tropical south Florida, the vegetative composition of Cayo Costa is unique among barrier islands.
A prominent feature of the area includes an extensive beach and dune system fronting the Gulf of Mexico. The interior of the island contains a mixture of pine flatwoods, oak-palm hammocks and grassy areas interspersed with palms. Mangroves dominate the park?s shoreline along Pine Island Sound.
Cabins are available on Cayo Costa. Each cabin sleeps up to six people. Each cabin is furnished with three bunk beds and a table. The cabins are very primitive and do not have electricity or any other amenities. They are centrally located to bathrooms and showers. There are grills available for cooking. Each cabin is conveniently located to the beach area and nature trails. Tent camping sites are available for up to 8 people per site. There is a picnic table and a ground grill provided at each site. The sites are centrally located to bathrooms and showers and conveniently located to the beach area and nature trails. Cayo Costa has modern restroom facilities, conveniently located in the camping areas, equipped with flushable toilets and cold water rinse-off showers. Potable water is also available at the restrooms. Access to the island is by Ferry Service from several Charter Boat Services. Visitors must carry in all food and drinks, as there are no facilities on the island. All items must be taken off the island upon departure. For more information on camping in our park simply click on the Reserve America link. Clicking on the park map or selecting one of the camping area links just below the park map will allow you to see a map of the individual campsite locations. Select any campsite icon to see a detailed description of the individual campsite and what it has to offer.
ACCOMMODATION AVAILABILITY CALENDARS
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Enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the pristine, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Our 9 miles of beautiful beaches are excellent for sunbathing and collecting shells, contributing to the overall wonderful experience.
The island is approximately seven miles long and has nearly nine and one-half miles of pristine beach on the Gulf of Mexico. This beach is perfect for shelling, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, and sunbathing.
Our bayside docks offer ten boat slips where boaters may camp onboard their boats with our bayside restroom facilities conveniently located for their use.
Kayak rentals are available through Tropic Star of Pine Island Call (239) 283-0015 for more information.
Surf fishing can yield catches of flounder, snook, trout, redfish, snapper, whiting, sheepshead and tarpon.
A picnic pavilion, restroom facility, tables and grills are available on the island.
Enjoy a leisurely bike ride on our trails, which meander through our beautiful barrier island. Bicycles are available at the ranger station for half or full day rental.
Enjoy a leisurely walk on our nature trails, which meander through our beautiful barrier island. Along the way you can see many species of birds, including several rare and endangered, that visit our island in the spring and fall, during their migratory journeys. Some of these species use our island?s natural resources for their nesting activities.
Located in the day-use area, our amphitheater provides a centralized location for our interpretive programs. These programs, given by our rangers, cover a wide variety of topics including the history of the island and interpretation of the natural resources found on the island. These programs are scheduled for Fridays at 1:30 PM. On Saturday nights from October through May, there are slideshow programs for our overnight visitors.
Cayo Costa State Park is located directly south of Boca Grande and West of Pine Island and N. Ft. Meyers. Accessible only by passenger ferry or private boat. The passenger ferry, Tropic Star of Pine Island departs from Pineland, Florida (Pine Island). Reservations are required on the ferry service. There is a fee for the ferry service.Call Tropic Star of Pine Island at (239) 283-0015.