Newton Park

By: Mike Hammond

While technically not on the Calusa Blueway Trail, Newton Park in the Town of Fort Myers Beach is potentially a great stop for both anglers and paddlers on the Gulf side of Estero Island.

You can launch and take out paddle craft at any of the beach access points, but Newton Park offers many amenities the others do not.  There are nice bathrooms available, a bottle-filling station, an outdoor shower, multiple chickee-hut shade structures and lots of picnic tables located in the shaded areas.  This makes Newton Beach a comfortable spot to base your beach-paddling adventures.

Beach Access 17 along Strandview Avenue offers parking spaces at $5 per hour closest to the beach. Even the close spaces are about 50 feet from the water at high tide. If you park in the main lot near the road during low tide, you may have more than 400 feet to walk to the water with your gear – something to consider if you have a heavy pedal-drive kayak. Paddlers with heavy paddle craft may decide to launch from another beach access point and use Newton Park as a destination to get off the water for a bathroom break, water-bottle refill or just a shady lunch spot.

For paddlers who can go relatively light, this is a convenient spot to launch and take a leisurely beach paddle up or down the island within a mile of beachfront restaurants for lunch.  In addition to all the amenities already mentioned, the park has educational signs for visitors on marine life, local history and native vegetation.

If the surf is too rough for a safe beach launch, consider putting in at the Mound House, which is located bayside less than a mile away and is on the Calusa Blueway Trail.

Whether you’re using it as a destination to paddle to or base camp for a day of relaxing and adventure, Newton Beach Park is a great site loaded with enjoyable amenities for paddlers, anglers and beachgoers alike.