After more than a year of closure due to Hurricane Ian, Cayo Costa State Park beach reopened to the public on October 25, 2023. The beach is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset for visitors with private vessels.
However, it is important to note that ferry services, docks, electricity, drinking water, and overnight accommodations remain unavailable at this time. Visitors are asked to adhere to all posted signs and to avoid closed areas.
“Please leave no trace of your visit,” the Friends of Cayo Costa (FoCC) added.
Cayo Costa State Park is a barrier island located in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Lee County, Florida. It is known for its pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, and lush vegetation.
The park was significantly impacted by Hurricane Ian, a devastating Category 4 storm that made landfall on September 28, 2022. The storm caused widespread damage to the park’s infrastructure, including its docks, restrooms, and ranger station.
Since the storm, park staff have been working hard to clean up and repair the damage. While much progress has been made, the park is still not fully operational.
The reopening of Cayo Costa State Park beach is a welcome sign of recovery for the park and the surrounding community. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the beach responsibly and to help protect its fragile ecosystem.
Here are some tips for visiting Cayo Costa State Park beach:
- Bring all of your own supplies, including food, water, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas that are marked as closed.
- Leave no trace of your visit. Pack out all of your trash and dispose of it properly.
- Respect wildlife and do not disturb sea turtle nests.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at (850) 245-2157.