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 1980s 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 walking 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.)
How much does it cost to visit Caladesi Island State Park?
- $2 per person. Please pay at the ranger station.
- $6 per boat (up to eight people); $2 for each additional person
- $2 per kayaker
By Ferry from Honeymoon Island…
- Entrance to Honeymoon Island: $8 per vehicle (2 to 8 people)
- Entrance to Honeymoon Island: $4 single-occupant vehicle
- Entrance to Honeymoon Island: $2 pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass
- Caladesi Connection Ferry fees: $16 per adult
- Caladesi Connection Ferry fees: $8 for children ages 6 to 12
- Caladesi Connection Ferry fees: Children 5 and under are free
- No pets are allowed on the ferry
For updated costs, visit: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/caladesi-island-state-park
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