The Chloosahatchee river starts at Lake Okeechobee, from Lake Hicpochee, in southeastern Glades County, approximately 10 mi (16 km) WNW of Clewiston. It flows WSW past La Belle, where it becomes tidal, forming an estuary along its lower 25 mi (40 km). It broadens as it nears the ocean, passing Fort Myers and Cape Coral. It enters the Gulf of Mexico 10 mi (16 km) southwest of Fort Myers in San Carlos Bay protected by Sanibel Island.
The best freshwater fishing is below the first two locks, Lake Hicpochee area can be really good depending on the water levels and has produces many tournament winning bags. The river has urban development which added several canal systems, these are great locations for resident fish as well as great places for the big river bass to spawn.
The 5 mi (8 km) Caloosahatchee Canal connecting Lake Hicpochee to Lake Okeechobee allows continuous navigation from the Caloosahatchee to the Okeechobee Waterway system. Since the late 19th century, dredging and channelization of the river, as well as the artificial connection to Lake Okeechobee and its use as a water supply for urban and agricultural uses, have substantially altered the hydrology of the river.
Lower Caloosahatchee River
The lower Caloosahatchee River was purchased by the State of Florida in the 1960′s, Lee County entered into a lease on the site in 1989, with a management agreement to provide public recreational opportunities.
Located along the Caloosahatchee River is an area rich in natural history. Calusa Indians are believed to be the first settlers here. Followed by Seminole and early settlers of what is now known as Alva.
The efforts of several community members from the Caloosa Saddle Club in 1985, were instrumental in convincing Lee County Commissioners to proceed with plans to develop a park. Caloosahatchee Regional Park opened on March 6, 1999 and to this day, volunteers are instrumental in trail maintenance and campground management.
This park features 768 acres of pine flatwoods, scrub oak, cypress swamps and oak hammocks. Crossing through them, you’ll find over 18 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. Primative camping sites for families and groups are available, along with equestrian sites for people with horses. Kayaking and fishing are available along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River.
Three picnic pavilions are available for group use. Programs offered include kayaking, kids fishing, campfire programs, and guided walks. Annual special events include an Adventure Triathlon & PALMGRASS Bluegrass Fest each Spring and River, Roots, and Ruts Trail Run.
Counties Served: Lee, Collier, and Hendry
Caloosahatchee District Office
Florida Division of Forestry
NO SMOKING ON TRAILS!
Pets are not permitted.
Open 7am-dusk daily, year-round FEES
Parking-$1 per hour/$5 per day
Camping- $12-$24 per site, Depending on site.
Shelter rentals-$25 per day. Parking fees apply.
Kayak rentals-$10 per hour, $30 per day. Kayaks can be on the water from 9:30am to 3pm. RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE.
LODGE rentals –Seating for 80 in a screened facility with a kitchen (refrigeration & ice available–$125 per day with a $250 damage deposit. (parking fees apply, requires 5 minute walk from parking lot) Call 239-533-7440 to reserve.
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