■ BY SUSAN ERWIN
Explorers of secluded havens are invited to come and celebrate Cayo Costa Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7.
This is an annual event held on the northern end of Cayo Costa island.
The 2,400 acre nature preserve fronted by nine spectacular miles of beaches is the perfect place to enjoy swimming, shelling, fishing, hiking and fossil hunting.
The meaning of Cayo Costa is “Key by the Coast,” or barrier island. This beautiful island is isolated from the mainland, reachable only by boat. With no road access, Cayo Costa’s greatest gift is its seclusion. Once inhabited by the Native American Calusa Indians, two archaeological sites remain visible. Park tour guides can lead visitors to them and share historical facts about them.
Experience a fun island day and explore all the beauty this state park has to offer. There will be children’s crafts, demonstrations and other beach day activities. Reservations are required as space is limited. The cost is $30 per adult and $20 per child. For departures from Captiva Island, call (239) 472-5300. The Friends of Cayo Costa State Park will be serving hot dogs, chips and drinks. The lunch is included with the purchase of a round-trip ticket.
Visitors to the park can even choose to camp out for a night or two. Primitive cabins and tent sites are available for reservation for overnight stays. Each site has a picnic table, a ground grill and access to portable water. There are no sites with electricity. Restroom facilities are located nearby and have cold showers and flush toilets.
The Friends of Cayo Costa State Park is a division of Barrier Island Parks Society, a not for profit 501(c)(3) Citizen Support Organization that works with the Florida Park Service to specifically support Cayo Costa State Park. For more information, visit friendsofcayocosta.org.