GREAT CALUSA BLUEWAY ../images/detail_photos/TGCB.jpgGREAT CALUSA BLUEWAY Address Waterways of Lee County Alva, Bonita Springs, Buckingham, Cape Coral, Captiva, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Matlacha/Pine Island, North Fort Myers, Sanibel , FL N/A More Info Contact Information Facility Staff Events Hours Trail always open. Launch sites may vary. Closures Information The Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail meanders through Lee Countys coastal waters from its northern point in Pine Island Sound to its southern end on Estero Bay, and with an inland leg up the Caloosahatchee River and its tributaries. The 190-mile trail guides canoeists and kayakers via easy-to-identify brown-and-white signs through shallow areas away from powerboat traffic. Paddlers use free maps and/or GPS coordinates, both of which are online. Request a map be mailed to you at the Web site or pick one up at area outfitters, parks, some government facilities, marinas. The Web site includes put-in sites, where to rent boats, how to find guided tours, and what to expect along the trail in various segments. Wildlife along the blueway is abundant, from leggy wading birds such as a half-dozen varieties of herons to other fowl such as seasonal white pelicans, year-round bald eagles, and soaring frigate birds. Paddlers encounter dolphins, manatees, sea turtles and river otters as well. Snook, redfish, tarpon and other game fish abound. The trail is perfect for a one-hour trip for novices as well as avid back-country paddlers. Anglers, bird watchers, day-trippers, families, adventure enthusiasts and geocachers also enjoy the blueway. The Calusa Blueway is also home to the Calusa Kids Race Team. The Calusa Kids Race Team gives young paddlers the opportunity to earn points and prizes for participating in paddle races and activities throughout Florida. For more information visit the Calusa Kids Race Team page. The Battle on the Blueway will be held June 10th on the Calusa Blueway in Fort Myers Beach, FL. This sanctioned WPA points event will feature three distance races. The Ron Jon 7 Mile Pro, Body Glover 2 Miler, and a kids' and Special Olympic race, a demo day, vendors displaying paddle merchandise, and non profits displaying nature / history materials and artifacts. This is a family oriented event with a festival atmosphere that brings paddling and Florida's native wildlife and Calusa heritage together. Benefiting Lee County Special Olympics. For registration information click here. View race video from the 2015 Battle of the Blueway SUP race held May 30 at Crescent Beach Family Park on Fort Myers Beach. Lee County is set to take the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival – a longtime Southwest Florida autumn event – and spread it throughout the year. Instead of an annual three-day happening, the festival’s activities have been segmented to offer canoeists, kayakers and SUPers more to do in various months. “The Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival had so much appeal but demanded multiple days of paddlers’ time so Lee County Parks & Recreation is morphing the great aspects of the festival into multiple activities at many of our locations countywide,” said Mike Hammond, Calusa Blueway coordinator. “This gives local paddlers and those who drive and fly to see the blueway something to do every month.” History History: The blueway is named for the Calusas, the seafaring American Indians who thrived for centuries in Southwest Florida before the arrival of the Spaniards. It was established in 2002-03 by Lee County Parks and Recreation and the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau. The Estero Bay leg was completed in 2003; the Pine Island Sound leg was completed in 2005; and, the Caloosahatchee leg debuted in October 2007.