What Is It?
The Great Calusa Blueway is a 190-mile saltwater canoe and kayak trail in Lee County, near Fort Myers. The trail weaves through coastal waters and inland tributaries, showing off the diverse terrain of the Gulf of Mexico. It is divided into three main parts: Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound and the Caloosahatchee River.
All Skill Levels Welcome
Paddlers from all over come to explore Calusa Blueway. The route offers long journeys for more skilled paddlers and more leisurely spots for novices to float along while birdwatching or fishing. There are many guided tours, with options for all skill levels, including ones focused on learning new paddling skills.
The route was established in 2002 by the Lee County Department of Parks and Recreation. It is named after the Indigenous Calusa, known as some of Florida’s first fishermen and shell collectors. The Calusa’s spiritual beliefs centered on the number three, meaning the three regions of the Blueway possess a special significance.
When to Visit
The route is open year-round. It is recommended visitors review tide charts and weather forecasts while planning a trip. Beginner paddlers are encouraged not to go out on the water when the wind is blowing more than 10 mph.
Access to the waterway is free. Rates to rent equipment and for guided tours vary. For more information, visit www.visitfortmyers.
com/calusablueway or call Fort Myers Tourism at 800-237-6444.