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Florida State Parks:
Caladesi Island Park

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Caladesi Island State Park

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Difficulty: Basic Scenery: Good
Location: Dunedin,
Pinellas County
Distance: 5 miles round trip from Dunedin Causeway to Caladesi marina.
Atlas: Page 82 D-2
Last Update: July 2006 Canoe OK: No


Caladesi Island is a Florida State Park located approximately one mile off the mainland by the city of Dunedin, Florida. Caladesi at 3 miles long and up to 1/2 mile wide is the largest of six islands in the Gulf Island Geopark. Caladesi and neighboring Honeymoon Island were once part of a large barrier island that was split in half during an intense hurricane in 1921. The resultant waterway between the islands is known as Hurricane Pass. During the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the shape of the island changed again, this time with shifting sands and a new cut at the north end of the island.

With the exception of the state park marina and swim beach located near the center of the island Caladesi remains undeveloped. The gulf side of the island offers three miles of white sand beach that has been rated as high as the second best beach in the United States. The bay side offers a mangrove shoreline and seagrass flats populated with an abundance of inshore birds, fish and other wildlife.

For non-paddlers, Caladesi Island may be reached by public ferry. The ferry runs from Honeymoon Island to the marina at Caladesi, weather permitting. Hours vary by season so check with the Caladesi Island State Park Service at 727-469-5918.


From Clearwater, travel north on US 19 to Curlew Road (SR 586). Go west on Curlew Road past Alt-19 to the Dunedin Causeway. You can put-in anywhere on the south side of the causeway. Parking is free. For those wanting to visit both Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands, a good access point is just before the bridge nearest the Honeymoon Island park entrance. Kayak and sailboat rental is available on the causeway near Honeymoon Island.

Important Items

Boat, Paddle, PFD
Marina and dock charge, $4 boaters
$1 for kayakers.
[Optional] Kayak rentals available


Barrier Island
White Sand Beach
Seagrass Flats
Oak, Pine and Palm Trees

Caladesi;On the beach.
Caladesi Island offers a great beach for walking, shelling and just having fun.

Tour: Dunedin Causeway to Caladesi Marina (5 miles)

To begin, select a nice sandy spot on the south side of the Dunedin Causeway. The area closest to the mainland attracts Personal Watercraft owners, so you'll probably want to put-in near the Honeymoon Island park entrance. Paddle in a southwest direction to Caladesi Island. The north end of the island is approximately 3 / 4 mile from the causeway. This area can be a bit tricky due to shallow water, currents and wind driven waves between Caladesi and Honeymoon Islands. The north beach is a popular place to stop, take a quick break, maybe a swim and look for shells.

Head south along the east (mainland) side of the island for 1.5 miles to reach the marina entrance. You can tell you're close when you see the channel markers. The marina features a boat dock with 99 slips, concession stand, bath house, picnic areas and ranger station. There are no boat ramps or beach landing at the marina, so you must be comfortable entering and exiting your kayak from a floating boat dock to stop here. From the marina, you can follow the boardwalk to the snack bar for a cool drink or go across the island to the swim beach. If you really want to stretch your legs, try the sandy three mile nature trail that loops the center of the island through sabal palms, slash pines and saw palmetto.

Camping is not allowed, but overnight docking is permitted at the marina for boaters who register with the park office before sundown. Since its unlikely you'll get a good night sleep in your kayak, try the spoil islands north of the Dunedin Causeway. Several of these small islands are open to primitive tent camping. Be sure to bring lots of bug repellent.

To return to the Dunedin Causeway, exit the marina and follow the island north for 2.5 miles.

Special Interest: Caladesi Island Canoe Trail

Starting and ending at the south end of the marina, a 3.5 mile canoe trail leads paddlers through mangrove canals and seagrass flats along the bay side of the island. In many places the mangroves totally enclose the trail forming tunnels teeming with small fish, crabs, birds and other wildlife. To help with navigation the trail is marked at strategic intersections with numbered white plastic poles. Note the poles mark the direction you should turn, i.e. if the pole is on the right side of the waterway, turn right.

At one mile (marker 8), the canoe trail exits the mangroves offering a view of St. Joseph Sound and the Intercoastal waterway. Turning north will take you back to the marina for a shortened 1.5 mile trip. Continuing south will reveal the next marker and re-entry into the mangrove canals. After another 3/4 mile of paddling the trail enters open water near the south end of Caladesi Island. Follow the mangrove shoreline in a northeast direction to return to the marina.

Caladesi;Canoe Trail;Kayaker.
Walt at the Canoe Trail.

Caladesi Map.
GPS Location Aid


Causeway Put-In
Sand beach
Caladesi North Tip
Sand beach
Marina Entrance
No exit
Caladesi Marina
Boat dock
Canoe Half-way Loop
No exit
Canoe Trail End
No exit