Explore the most popular trails in Cayo Costa State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

With nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks and mangrove swamps, this barrier island park is a Gulf Coast paradise. Cayo Costa is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Visitors may see manatees and pods of dolphins in the waters around the 2,426 acre park, as well as a spectacular assortment of birds. On the island, visitors can swim or snorkel in the surf, enjoy the sun and picnic in the shade. Keep your eyes peeled as you stroll along the beach, especially during the winter months. The nature trails that crisscross the island provide opportunities for hiking and off-road bicycling. Saltwater anglers can fish from their boats or throw a line out into the surf. An amphitheater provides educational programs about the island's ecology and history. For overnight stays, the park offers primitive cabins and tent camping. The ferry, Tropic Star of Pine Island, departs from Pineland, Florida (Pine Island) and requires reservations.

camping
Thu Mar 29 2018

Went in June and would NOT recommend that time of year. The heat was unbearable. However, if the weather had cooperated, or perhaps if we had gone in the spring or winter, I'd recommend 100% Great place to get off the grid without REALLY diving deep into the backcountry. Click here for our short video from our trip. https://youtu.be/qzqa5LaQ2t4

hiking
Thu Apr 13 2017

No roads, only access by boat. Once there be prepared to walk 'cause there ain't no other way to get around. Enough campsites to go around and the gulf side beach was great. Amenities are basic at best.

camping
Fri Mar 31 2017

You can kayak to see manatees, and dolphins are sited often. Hermit crabs and shells galore. Alligators, snakes, wild pigs, this place is abundant with wildlife. I've only been during April. No mosquitos, but biting flies (no-seeums) come out about 5 pm till morning. Wear long sleeves and pants and tube socks of a light color (they are attracted to dark colors). And spray 100% deet overtop. Trust me, they will eat you alive. This April will be my third time spending a week here. If it rains heavily, the main swimming area is brackish and murky from the overflowing lagoon. We bring rafts because its kinda scary to swim when you can't see. One year we went and the water was so clear we could see 8 feet to the bottom. This is place is amazing, and has become our spring break family tradition.

camping
Mon Jun 20 2016

The park was nice. Ranger and Volunteer were nice (a little on the sarcastic side though). The bugs are NOT tolerable. We paid and planned a nice 3 day trup that lasted one day.

We've been here several times while cruising on our sharpie ketch. Wonderful anchorage, gulf beach walks, shelling and swimming as well as coastal bird watching.

hiking
Thu Feb 05 2015

One of my favorite places with my classmates studying coastal marine ecology. This island is beautiful, and holds so many wonders that go unseen at first glance.

camping
Fri May 09 2014

one of my favorite places. can't help but relax . no electricity or hot water so bring a solar shower for extended stays. great way to reset your biological clock.

hiking
Wed Jan 23 2013

Absolutely wonderful island to get away from the hustle and bustle of society. Stayed in a tent and heard wild boars poking around our campsite in the middle of the night! It was a blast

camping
Wed Apr 18 2012

Beautiful but I recommend you go in spring or autumn

camping
Tue Apr 10 2012

This is a semi primitive camping area where your only activity is relaxing on the water. You can go fishing, swimming or reading a book. I highly recommend to go during spring or autumn and also to stay in a cabin. there is no shade in any of the camping spots and no electricity in the park. Your only way to get there is by boat, so book the boat first and then the spot. I enjoy very much the calm warm waters and empty spaces.

walking
Sun Aug 22 2010

You can only get there by boat. An island with no development, just nature.

hiking
9 months ago

on Cayo Costa Loop Trail

mountain biking
10 months ago