Caloosahatchee Regional Park | Things to do in Southwest Florida

The Caloosahatchee Regional park sits right on the banks of the Caloosahatchee river in Alva and it provides campers and kayakers with a great array of activities.





Looking for a place to camp, fish and even horse ride?


Then Caloosahatchee Regional Park is the park for you.


Located on the banks of the Caloosahatchee river just a little over Southeast of Fort Myers, situated in the small town of Alva, you will find this Southwest Florida nature gem.


The park consists of 768 acres and it has 20 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails.


Kayakers are also welcome, and the the kayak launch provides an easy way so kayakers and paddle boarders can have an easy access to the river.


If you like the sound of that stay tuned for everything you need know before visiting or maybe even camping at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park.





Everything you should know before visiting the Caloosahatchee Regional State Park


Location

19130 North River Road

Alva, FL 33920

Google Map/Directions


Hours of Operation

Dawn to Dusk

Gate hours: Parking lots 2 and 3 are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Park closes at dusk during daylight savings time.

Parking lot 1 campground gate will be open until 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. through April.


Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in this park, except for horses in the equestrian trail and camp site.


Parking

Parking is $1 per hour or $5 per day, rates are different for camping grounds.


Keep it at home

Alcohol, gasoline generators and motor bicycles are not allowed in the park as well as the collection of plants, shells and animals.





Things to do at Calooshatchee Regional Park




With over 700 acres of land, there is quite a lot to do at the park and so much to explore.


From bird watching to kayaking the waters of the Caloosahatchee river and possibly even seeing a manatee, or a gator, these are but a few activities that you can do at the park.


1 - Camping

Tent camping is available at Parking Lot #1 located at 19130 North River Rd., Alva, with restrooms, outside showers, and potable water are available and each campsite has a grill, picnic table, and fire ring


The fees are $15 for a family site, $30 for a group or $50 equestrian site. Check in starts after 12:01 p.m. and check out by 11 a.m.


Reserve Campsites Online or call ahead for reservations.


Family site - $15 / night, two tents max. per site

Group site - $30 / night, six tents max. per site

Equestrian site - $50 / night, 20 tents max. per site


2 - Fishing

Enjoy fishing from the fishing pier, here are some of the fishes you may find at the Caloosahatchee river:


Tarpon

Largemouth Bass

Bluegill

Striped Mullet

Mayan Cichlid

Armored Catfish





3 - Mountain Biking

Available at North entrance of the park. A helmet is recommended and make sure you grab a map of the trails.


4 - Nature Hiking

Nature hiking is available at the main entrance parking lot #2. It is recommended to stay away from Equestrian and bike trail.








5 - Bird Watching


Keep your eye and ears out for the following birds:

White Ibis

Wood Ibis

American Bittern

Ward's Heron

Egret

Snowy Egret

Green Heron

American Coot

Black Vulture

Broad-Winged Hawk



6 - Kayaking/ Paddle boarding


You can find the kayak launch at parking lot #1 and if you don't have your own there are rentals available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and includes paddles and life jackets.


Kayaks cost $15 per hour or $40 per day, they ask that you bring exact change and to call ahead for rentals.


If you don't have a kayak due to space, I would highly recommend an inflatable one. Our family got an inflatable paddle board and it saves so much money from having to rent one and also space in our home and car.

Check out the Calusa Blueway Maps for an idea on where to Kayak and different creeks within the area.




7 - Horse Riding

Horse are not available at the park but you are more than welcomed to bring your own and use the trail located at parking lot #3.


8 - Throw a party or event


  • Pavilion rentals: $25 per day, reserve pavilions online or call ahead for reservations

  • Lodge Rentals (Seating for 80 in a screened facility with a kitchen): $150 per day plus a $250 refundable security deposit.




9 - Wildlife Watching

Squirrels, fishes, snakes and gators, see who can find the most wildlife at the Caloosahatchee regional park and turn into a fun game.


Remember to bring binoculars so you can easily spy on the creatures that calls this park home. Also keep in mind that the quietest you are the better chances you'll have of seeing an animal.


If you opt to kayak, you may even see a manatee. Best time of the year is February, when the area has the lowest temperatures of the year and manatees come to the surface to get the warmth from the sun. Just keep in mind that gators use that same strategy.



10 - Toy Boating

Although the park does not provide a boat launch, you can bring your boat toys and drive it through the waters of the river.


We brought ours and had so much fun, you can see how fast our go right here in this video.


11 - Read a book

Right by the restrooms in the parking lot #2, you will find a Little Library with free books that you can take home with you and even donate books you no longer want to read.


Grab a book or bring your own and sit at one of the benches near the river and enjoy.



12 - Photography

Caloosahatchee Regional park doesn't get crowded an offers beautiful scenery which is the perfect match for a photoshoot.


We didn't go to the park with that intention but we were able to get some really awesome shots of the kids and of the park itself.