Visitors' Submissions State: Florida Region: South Description:
AT A GLANCE: Cayo Costa State Park, FL
Where: Cayo Costa (Lacosta Island) is one of the largest undeveloped barrier islands remaining in Florida and is accessible only by boat. Located 12 miles west of the Gulf Coast town of Cape Coral, it is part of a chain of barrier islands that shelter Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound. Commercial ferry services, charter boats and private vessels can access the park from Pine Island, Boca Grande and Captiva Island. Canoeists and kayakers can gain access at Mattson Marine in the town of Pineland on Pine Island. From I-75, four miles north of Ft. Myers, go west on state road 78 to state road 767 on Pine Island. Go north on 767 to Pineland and the marina.
Camping: The main camping area and twelve rustic cabins are located just off the Gulf Beach at the island’s northern end. Bathroom and cold shower facilities are available and ground fires are allowed. There are no stores or restaurants on the island which means overnight visitors must come prepared.
Hiking Trails: An extensive system of hiking trails allows exploration of the north end of the island.
Canoe and Kayak Trails: Cayo Costa and its surrounding waters are a paddlers paradise. Numerous bays, bayous and coves invite exploration as well as mangrove islands and keys in the Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve.
Elevation: Sea level to 8-feet.
Can’t Miss: Extensive beach and sand dune system on the Gulf side of the island. A unique tropical environment that looks much like it did 500 years ago when the first Europeans explorers arrived. The park and its surrounding waters provide a variety of recreational activities that include primitive camping, hiking and fishing.
Crowd Control: A limited number of overnight campers are allowed on the island and reservations should be made well in advance due to the islands popularity in the winter months.
Walk Softly: The beaches here are an ever-changing system of dunes and sea oats. All live shells are protected as well as the tropical vegetation. Look for the resident ferrel pig colony that inhabits the island, descendents of pigs that were let loose by early European explorers.
Maps and Books: Topo Quads: Port Boca Grande and Bokeelia, Nautical Chart: Fort Myers to Charlotte Harbor and Wiggins Pass (11427).
More Info: Cayo Costa State Park, P.O. Box 1150, 880 Belcher Road, Boca Grande, Florida (941) 964-0375, Mattson Marine (941) 283-4334
Contact Name: Scott A. Watkins Contact E-mail:SAWatkins@aol.comState: Georgia Region: South Description:
Duke's Creek Falls. Located off the Richard Russell Highway above Helen, Georgia. Go past the main Duke's Creek Falls parking lot and turn left at the first paved road. Three water falls are within a short hike. This is a great place for the family wilderness camping trips, or the true campers in the dead of winter. Contact Name: J. Tuck Contact E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.orgState: Tennessee Region: East Description:
Beauty Spot. This area is over looking Ewrin Tennessee. You can see for miles around, we stayed there last winter and it was breath taking. If you would like to have some photos of the place just let me know. It is located on the Appalachian Trail. Contact Name: Vince Contact E-mail:Vince@xtn.netState: North Carolina Region: South Description:
Smokemont in the Great Smokey Mountains just outside Cherokee, North Carolina is a great campground for the whole family. Contact Name: Terry Henry Contact E-mail:email@example.com