Great Calusa Blueway Challenge


As the popular paddling trail celebrates 20 years, paddlers have a chance to participate in a fun challenge and earn points for prizes and discounts. And what better way to celebrate National Trails Day on June 1, than with a paddle on the Great Calusa Blueway?

The marked canoe and kayak trail stretches almost 200 miles from Bonita Springs through Estero Bay, Fort Myers Beach, Pine Island Sound and Sanibel, Captiva and Pine islands, up the Caloosahatchee River to the Lee County line. The trail is home to abundant marine life, shore birds and crustaceans as it meanders the back bay estuaries and mangrove tunnels.

Attractions on the Blueway include Mound Key Archeological State Park, Lovers Key State Park, Mound House, Randell Research Center, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Manatee Park and others. For maps and GPS coordinates, visit

Take the Calusa Blueway Challenge
By checking in at locations along the trail, paddlers may earn points to be used for prizes as well as discounts and deals. Points may be earned at attractions, restaurants, parks and nature spots along the trail. Paddle on your own, experience a guided tour, shop at a local business or grab a bite to eat as you explore the 200-mile marked trail that includes the rivers, and back bay shorelines of Fort Myers Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods.

Those who complete at least 75% of the challenge will be entered to win a grand prize of an 11-foot Body Glove iSUP Performer paddleboard or a two-night stay at Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island.

The Challenge is open now and runs through Feb. 28, 2025. It’s free and does not require an app. Sign up at

The Blueway is part of the 1,600 mile Florida Circumnavigational Trail and connects to water trails in counties to the north and south. It is also part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System and received National Recreation Trails designation by the U.S. Department of Interior in 2004.

The Blueway was developed with funding provided by the Lee County Tourist

Development Council and is managed by Lee County Parks & Recreation.

To learn more visit or



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