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Parks & Recreation


Boating is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Southwest Florida.  Click the links below to get more information about boating in Cape Coral:

The City of Cape Coral boasts more than 400 miles of canals, many of which have direct access to the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico. The City's waterways are overseen by the Parks Recreation Department’s Marine Services Division and can be accessed through the use of five improved public boat ramps and four unimproved boat ramps: 

The Chiquita Boat Lock is not operational due to damage sustained from Hurricane Ian.  The lock is in the open position so that boaters may pass.  

Annual Boat Trailer Parking Permit (Cape Coral residents only):
 $75 plus tax (valid for one year from the month/year that the permit was purchased).
Annual permits may be purchased or renewed online or by visiting the Parks & Recreation counter in City Hall (239-573-3128).

Please bring:
•    Payment via cash, card, or check
•    Drivers license and vehicle registration
•    Proof of Cape Coral residency (i.e., local utility bill) with corresponding name and address

Permits must be affixed on the outside of the back window or the back bumper of the tow vehicle on the left side (driver's side). 

--> See more information on Cape Coral's Boat Trailer Parking Program.

Commercial Paddle Sport Outfitter Permit
Permit and agreement with the city are required for paddle sports outfitters to use Cape Coral launch sites to deliver kayaks or sups for use. Paddle Sport Outfitter application, proof of business license, and insurance are required to obtain approval for use.  The cost is $100 monthly for seasonal operations or $1,000 annually for annual operations. For details on which parks are available or how to become an approved paddle sport outfitter, please email

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Boating Safety
Before operating a vessel, a boating Safety Course is required by the State of Florida for all persons born on or after January 1, 1988. Violation of these provisions is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Before going boating, particularly in a new environment, it is always a good idea to take a refresher course on Boating Rules and Safety and familiarize yourself with local waterways.

Boating safety courses near you and information on saltwater and freshwater boating regulations: 

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Boat Ramp Etiquette

Our boat ramps are popular with locals and visitors alike and can become unnecessarily congested when boaters aren’t proactive about preparation. Boat ramps should be kept clear except when actively launching or retrieving your boat. The boat ramp is not an appropriate place to load or prepare your boat for the water. 

  • Prepare your vessel away from the boat ramp and verify the following:
    • Required safety equipment and the vessel registration card are on board
    • Trailer coupler and ball hitch are connected, and trailer lights unplugged
    • Battery, motor, and angle of the drive unit in good condition
    • Drain plug firmly in place
It’s best to have a lookout or someone in the boat to help launch. Once your boat is launched, move it out of the way and secure it to a courtesy dock so your passengers can board. 

Quickly move the towing vehicle so others can access the ramp.


When returning from your voyage, dock the vessel at a courtesy dock until the tow vehicle is in place. Use at least two experienced people to retrieve your boat. Secure the safety chain and the winch at the bow to remove your vessel from the water. Then, move to the staging area to finish unloading and securing the vessel to the trailer. 

Boat Ramp Etiquette (3)

For general information about Cape Coral Parks and Recreation, call (239) 573-3128. Or, if you encounter an issue in a Cape Coral park, please contact the Cape Coral Police Department's non-emergency line at (239) 574-3223.

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