Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Moving to Koreshan State Historic Site

Sunday and Monday January 3 & 4, 2015                                             Most Recent Posts:
Koreshan State Historic Site                                                               Tree Snail Hammock Trail on the Loop RoadEstero, Florida                                                                                     Big Cypress V.C. and Boardwalk

Today we move 87 miles north west to Koreshan State Historic Site and Winnona is happily camped in their campround in the Scrub Oak forest.  There are 60 sites here with water, 30 amp electric and a dump site.  The bathrooms are nice, clean with hot water and good pressure.  There are two washers and two dryers.  Both are $1.50.  The washers are only cold water wash.
Koreshan is located in Estero Florida which is between Fort Myers and Naples.  It’s a sweet little park on the Estero River with good kayaking and an interesting historic site. 


The fates are kind today and let us get pretty much set up before the rains start pouring down.  But they pour  for the entire rest of the day so we just chill out and watch it rain.  The photo above was taken later, after the rain, as you can see from the location of the kayaks.



Monday is laundry day.  While there I meet George and Lisa from Detroit.  They are on vacation with their first RV, a nice little Roadtrek.  George laughingly says they don’t know what they are doing but they seem to be doing fine to me.  He says it took him years to convince Lisa to try RVing.  She tells me her comments to his suggestion were “What in the world will I do?  Sit around in that thing all day”.   Well she has definitely changed her story and now says she loves the slower pace and the quiet.  They are only in their 40’s but I encourage them to down size and get out on the road as soon as they can.  Here they are with their dog Leo. Lisa says he loves to travel.  You do meet the nicest people on the road. 

After the laundry we decide to take a walk on the trails here.  I love the way the campground is set up.  All of the sites have plenty of privacy vegetation between them.  The sites in the first loop have neat little paths going out from them to a larger path which leads to the bathhouse/laundry in one direction and the park trails in the other.
This is our campground path.

This one goes to the bathhouse.  We’re taking it the opposite way to the trails when we see this long narrow fellow traveler resting at the path’s edge.


I’m very happy to see him since one of his favorite foods is mice and rats.  In the Keys we had damage to Ruby’s hood insulation from rodents.  The little buggers got up on top of the engine and chewed it up.  Hopefully Mr. Rat Snake will take care of anyone who ventures around here.



From this map, you can see the red trail takes off from near the campground.  Actually it is much closer than the map makes it look.  The red trail is a nature trail with interpretive signs along the way.  It leads to the historic area along the edge of the Estero River.  Our usual practice is to take either blue or red over and then bring the other back after walking around the historic area.

David is reading the signpost on the slash pine.  That seems a rather unpleasant name for such a lovely pine. 

It has particularly beautiful bark I think.

All along the red trail we get glimpses of the river.

Kayak the river is definitely something we want to do while we are here this time or when we return for a longer stay in February.


Cirus Teed and his followers came to this area in 1894 to create a Utopia in the wilderness.  Over time they imported a wide range of plant species from all over the world.  Many of them still grace the grounds of what they called the Koreshan Unity.
As we have been here before, several times, I have written in more detail about Teed who changed his name to Koresh as a result of “divine inspiration” and about his Hollow Earth Theory and the many well educated Victorians who followed him to what was then a jungle.  At the end of this post I’ll put the links to those previous posts with that information so those who may not have been following at that time can read them if they like.  Or anyone else who wants to know more about this interesting place.
Today on our walk, I just take a few pictures of the things I like most on the grounds including these two beautiful bridges connecting one section to another.  The red trail comes onto the grounds just before this one.

Not sure why one bridge was painted and the other was not.  A question I’ll ask when we take the tour this time.


Some trees on the property are venerable beauties like this gorgeous live oak covered in resurrection fern and spanish moss which of course isn’t a moss at all but a bromeliad.


One of the first tree species planted in the formal garden were the very tall Washingtonian Palms along the “Grande Promenade”.  Only a few of them remain.  They are replaced by smaller palms, I’m not sure why since in other areas the park strictly replaces anything that dies with the exact thing the Koreshans planted.   The Grand Promenade must have been grand indeed when lined with these tall tall palms.

Originally the Koreshan Community faced the Estero River.  The river was the transportation route of the time. The main entrance was here at the Bamboo dock.

We’re very lucky to be here at the right time to see  this beautiful African Tulip Tree in bloom.  It is also called ‘flame of the forest, fireball and fire tree because it has large orange flower clusters outlined with yellow.  In the center of the cluster are multiple buds that look like small bananas.  Have you seen these in their native land Gaelyn?


Although Koresh (Cyrus Teed) founded the Unity, its day to day affairs were governed by “The Seven Sisters” who lived in a common house referred to as the Planetary Court.   It’s a beautiful Victorian Building with 8 bedrooms and one communal sitting room.  They all took their meals in the community dining hall which was across the way.

We return to Winnona via the blue trail which is not along the river but does go beside what was once the fruit orchard.  David is always on the look out for the fruit trees in among the jungle.  Today he finds some oranges.  Normally he eats these mostly wild fruits and I don’t.  Too bitter for me.  But today he’s found one that is actually pretty good.

The Park has many activities for its daily and camping guests.  There are tours of the grounds every day at 10am and 2pm, $2 for adults, $1 for children.  You’ll  learn a lot about Teed, his beliefs including the Hollow Earth theory, the history of the unity, the buildings and the plantings.  Even if you don’t camp here, if you are in the area the tour is worth paying the entrance fee. 
From January Through March, they have a music series every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm in the Art Hall as well as special evening programs once a month from November through February.
On Sundays there is Yoga at 7:00 in the Art Building, the local farmer’s market sets up on the grounds from 8am-1pm and a period authentic bread making program from 11-00.
The last week-end in January and the first week-end in February they do their Ghost Walk where volunteers dress as Koreshans and appear throughout the park as tour groups come by to hear their stories.
Here are some links to our previous stays at the Koreshan State Historic site for those who want more information about any of this and of course more pictures of all the things mentioned above.  <grin>
April 2012
February 2 2015
February 6, 2015
February 9, 2015
February 14, 2015


  1. Thank you for the previous links... enlightening. The Koreshan system and beliefs sound very odd.

    The snake is welcome company.

  2. Since I've had damage on 3 different occasions from rodents chewing insulation and fuel and electrical lines under the hood, I'd vote for the snake photo as my favorite!

  3. I like that shot with the big live oak and white bridge.

  4. Great new home:) Hope you get out to kayak the river. Sure looks beautiful. The African Tulip Tree is very cool:)

  5. The African Tulip Tree flower is so darn beautiful! How come you are wearing jackets now? Is it cooler there?
    We got our share of the storm here, a week of rain!

  6. You are pretty close to us now (Bonita Springs) we may have to plan a get together before you leave... we leave here on Feb 1st and we just booked 4 nights at Manatee Lake SP thru the 4th

  7. How did you get that rat snake to stay still long enough to get those amazing pictures? Do you have some kind of magical spell put on it? I've never been able to get a picture of a snake at all, they bolt away from me when I try.

    Maybe if I wore a mouse suit, I'd have a better chance? ;c)

    Nice to see you had a great day touring the grounds without any rain for a change!

  8. I love that big oak!! Beautiful tree! Looks like a great place to kayak there - so much less wind than the Keys! Thanks to the blog for those 'memory' posts - so neat to just click and know what you were doing when and see so may great pictures of the experience.

  9. Oh I love this place! Especially the history of the Sisters - so fascinating. Remember to tell us about the bridges and why they didn't replace those huge palms :-) Great pic of you with that marvelous tree - isn't it wonderful to enjoy such beauty in your backyard?!

  10. Good thing the kayaks weren't on the ground before the rain or they may have floated away without you. ;) Nice to have rat eaters around. Mice destroyed the insulation under the truck hood last summer at the North Rim. Wonder if a rubber snake would scare them away. The ancient oaks are spectacular. I haven't seen the African Tulip tree, yet.


  11. I'm fascinated by Koreshan and have enjoyed your posts on it over the past couple of years. I can't believe we haven't managed to make it there yet! Apparently I need to bite the bullet and plan out our Florida travels 11 months in advance, as you so wisely do. That African Tulip tree is spectacular, and I agree, that little rat snake is a good friend to have around.

  12. I was going to comment that I was amazed to hear that rodents ate your insulation, but I notice from the other comments that I'm the only one who doesn't that happens. Love that tulip tree. What a beautiful park. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I think we saw some of those African Tulip trees in Kauai as well. They are just so gorgeous and brilliant. I am still begging for that winter in Northern Florida...I really need to finish kayaking all those springs that I missed. House sale this coming year, then maybe next year? sigh. In the mean time, I just have to keep reading your Florida posts and enjoy the photos and stories.

  14. Lovely grounds on a nice day after the rains parted. We woke up to 29 degrees this morning :(

  15. Count another vote for the rat snake as winner. The rodents are okay but they need to keep to themselves and not get in our stuff. Beautiful place and very interesting too!

  16. Wondering if you are familiar with another david koresh. waco, texas 1993 head of the branch davidian sect ?

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