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General Information

Caladesi Island State Park
Copyright: - Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Caladesi Island State Park
Description - Experience the pristine nature at the remote Caladesi Island State Park. Beautiful palms, aquamarine waters, plentiful birdlife and warm ocean breezes tranquilize the visitor to a state of pure relaxation, especially after leaving bustling Clearwater behind. Experience the six island complex reachable only by private boat or by ferry service. Plenty of boat slips allow you to make a day of hiking, swimming, and viewing wildlife. You won't go hungry; there is a full-service concession on the main island.

Attractions - For serenity and seclusion, Caladesi Island State Park is ideal. Shore birds and sea turtles build their nests undisturbed among the dunes. Gulf breezes ruffle the tresses of auburn hairgrass. A beautiful island showcase, it is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in the state. The park is comprised of six islands with a total of approximately 650 upland acres and more than 1,100 acres of surrounding mangroves and grass flats. Officials finalized acquisition plans in 1968, then was opened to the public in 1972.

Caladesi Island was created in 1921 after a savage storm created Hurricane Pass and separated it from what was then Hog Island. The origin of the name is uncertain, however, it first appeared in print in the early 1930s.

Recreation - Caladesi Island State park is accessible by private boat or ferry service only. The park offers boating, fishing, picnicking, swimming, shelling and extensive nature study along the unspoiled island trails. Private boaters may use the 99-slip bayside marina or anchor offshore. Overnight primitive boat camping / docking with marine pump out station is available. Overnight visitors must register before sundown. Ferry service is available from the mainland, weather permitting.

Climate - Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.

Location - Caldesi Island State Park is located in southwest Florida, west of the city of Dunedin off the gulf coast and north of St. Petersburg. Boat access only. Ferry service provided, weather permitting.


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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Caladesi Island has been joined to Clearwater Beach since 1985. To get there on foot, go to Clearwater Beach and park as far north as possible. There are metered spaces around 880 Mandalay but I prefer the free public parking north of the two convenience stores north of the Palm Pavilion. It is less than one mile from this point to the southern end of Caladesi Island via the beach. When you reach a piling in the sand that used to be a channel marker, its about another mile up the beach to the bathhouses parallel to the marina and ranger station. You can explore the south end of the island by wading across a shallow tidal slough towards a sand to your east or by looking for a spur of the nature trail which comes out to the beach a few tenths of miles north of the piling. While the distances are not great, walking in sand may be more tiring than you realize. Protect yourself from the sun and either carry water or hike halfway up the island to get it. This is a relatively unspoilt barrier island well worth a visit.


More Information

Contact Information:
Caladesi Island State park, #1 Causeway Blvd. , Dunedin, FL, 34698, Phone: 727-469-5918

Additional Information:
Central West Florida - Located several hours west of the popular Orlando theme park area, Central West Travel Region falls along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico offering a wonderful blend of cultural and natural attractions easily accessed from U.S. Highway 19.
Florida State Parks - The mission of the Florida Park Service is to provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.

Links:
Campground Reservations - Reserve your campground online here with reserveamerica.com
Florida Division of Recreation & Parks - Official agency website.

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