The Great Calusa BluewayThe Great Calusa Blueway is a paddling trail that meanders through the coastal waters of Lee County from the Pine Island Sound to Estero Bay, up the Caloosahatchee River and through 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.
Get the Maps!
Download our free maps and/or GPS coordinates online, request a map by mail, by phone, or pick one up at area outfitters, marinas and LCPR locations. For paddling on Pine Island, download the Pine Island Paddlecraft Launch Map.
The site includes put-in sites, where to rent boats, how to find guided tours, and what to expect along the trail. 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 novices and avid back-country paddlers alike. 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 is an annual race event held at Fort Myers Beach. 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.
Battle on the Blueway
The Blueway is named for a native local people called the Calusa. The Calusa were sea-faring Native Americans who thrived for centuries in Southwest Florida before the arrival of the Spaniards. The Blueway was established in 2002 by Lee County Parks and Recreation (LCPR) and the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB). 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.