Walk to Caladesi Island State Park

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Walk to Caladesi Island State Park

One of the reasons I love staying on the North Beach side of Clearwater Beach, Florida is that it makes it easier to walk to Caladesi Island State Park. Caladesi Island State Park is one of the completely natural islands along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The pristine Gulf Coast island is filled with mangroves, peaceful hiking trails and quiet, soft, white beaches with palm trees even touching the calm waves of the ocean.

There are only two ways to get to Caladesi Island. You can take a 20-minute ferry ride from Honeymoon Island or you can walk to Caladesi Island from Clearwater Beach, Florida!

Yes, you can walk from Clearwater Beach to Caladesi Island. The two islands weren’t always connected, but they are now. The islands used to be separated by Dunedin Pass. In the 1980’s sand began to accumulate, narrowing the pass. Then in 1985, Hurricane Elena rolled up the Gulf Coast of Florida, sealing the pass completely. With Dunedin Pass sealed, Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island became connected, making it possible to walk from Clearwater Beach to Caladesi Island.

The walk to Caladesi Island State Park from Clearwater Beach is beautiful, but it isn’t a short walk. Before setting out to walk from Clearwater to Caladesi Island, you should pack a small bag with water and a snack. If you’re staying on the North Side of Clearwater Beach (at or near Surfside Condominiums or the Villas of Clearwater Beach) the walk to Caladesi Island State Park is ~2.2 miles. That’s just the “entrance” of Caladesi Island State Park. I say “entrance” because it is only marked with a sign on the beach.

Caladesi Island State Park has public bathrooms and a small snack bar available towards the middle of the island. That area of Caladesi Island is just over a 3-mile walk. While the public bathrooms are always open, the snack bar may not be, so be sure to pack some water.

One of my favorite things about Caladesi Island is to walk to the end of the beach on the north side of the island. It is an incredibly beautiful and peaceful area. With all of Caladesi and Clearwater Beach behind you, you can sit in the soft sand and watch boats travel in and out of Hurricane Pass, the pass separating Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island. With Caladesi Island being so narrow, you can easily tell you’re sitting on the furthest north part of the island. The beautiful view will leave you with a strong sense of accomplishment since it’s a far walk, and you can’t walk any further. From the North Beach area of Clearwater Beach, it’s a ~4.5-mile walk to get there.

Tips for the Walk to Caladesi Island State Park

  • Pack some water and a snack.
  • Bring some sunscreen so you can reapply while you’re on the beach hike.
  • Check the weather before you go and avoid any pop-up rain showers.
  • Start the walk as it is transitioning from high tide to low tide. That way you’ll be able to make it there and back before it’s high tide. (I made this mistake once. One part of the walk to Caladesi Island involves walking past a small line of trees that touch the ocean waves even during low tide. Hit this area during high tide and instead of a cool wave washing across your toes, you may be knee deep. This short part can be avoided by following a trail that leaves the beach, but the trail can hold water after rains as well.)
14 replies
  1. Avatar
    Liz vaughn says:

    This has been my vacation spot for 5 years. I stay at Clearwater and walk to the Island. It’s a beautiful walk. You wouldn’t want to do it with small children

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brad Wester says:

      Agreed. While both Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island are very family-friendly beaches, the walk to Caladesi would be tough with small kids. It’s a beautiful, but long, walk. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Michele says:

    Hi, my sisters , mother and I are staying at the Hyatt in Clearwater beach for thanksgiving week. Is it possible for us to walk to the island from that hotel? It looks amazing
    Thank you ,
    Michele West

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brad Wester says:

      Hi Michele! Yes, it’s possible to walk from the Hyatt to Caladesi Island. It is pretty far though. From the Hyatt area of Clearwater Beach, it looks like it’s a little over 3 miles to where Caladesi Island starts, 4 to 4.5 miles to where the bathrooms are and a little over 5 miles to the northern edge of Caladesi Island. If you want to shorten the walk, you can grab a ride (Uber/Lyft) to the corner of Eldorado Ave. & Juniper Street. There’s a small public access point to the beach located there. From that beach entrance, head north for just over a mile and you’ll reach the start of Caladesi Island. (~2 miles to the bathrooms and ~3.5 miles to the northern edge of Caladesi Island.) It’s a long, but beautiful walk – and you’re reaching the perfect time of year for a long beach walk!

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Deb says:

        I was following this comment. Thanks for your response Brad. Very helpful. I’ll be there early Dec and will def visit this quaint island

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Brad Wester says:

          I’m glad I was able to help. I hope you have a great trip! If you have any other questions about the Clearwater Beach area, feel free to leave a quick comment here and I’ll respond as soon as I can. 🙂

          Reply
  3. Avatar
    Paul Boyle says:

    Thank you so much for the extremely informative blog! I am now going to set out from the Hilton tomorrow. I did not know I could walk there and have always wanted to visit the Island. I went south today to Sand Key and had a very nice ten mile walk. Looking forward to Caladesi and thank you again for the welcomed information.

    Regards,
    Paul

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Kyle says:

    Thanks for the blog. A good read. Do you know if the public access you mentioned at Eldorado Ave. & Juniper Street has a spot for a bike lockup? We’d like to bike as far north as possible and then walk the rest. Thanks again,

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brad Wester says:

      Hi Kyle, yes there is a small bike lockup area at the Eldorado Ave. & Juniper Street public access point. Biking to that area is a great idea. Have a wonderful time!

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    Drikus says:

    Hi There.. planning to visit USA (coming over from South Africa) in August 2020- will be Motorbiking- doing Route 66- Sturgis Rally etc in bout a month and a half – so there is no rush for sightseeing etc. Would it be possible to sleep over in a tent for one night on the Island? – Just thought that might be a “different” experience

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brad Wester says:

      Unfortunately, tent camping is not allowed on Caladesi Island. They only allow Boat Camping. It sounds like an amazing trip through! If you’d like a beachfront view while you’re in the Clearwater Beach area, we’d love to have you stay with us!

      Reply

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