Imperial River (Florida)

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Imperial River
Origin Kehl Canal and marshland at 26°22′16″N 81°41′23″W / 26.37111°N 81.68972°W / 26.37111; -81.68972.
Mouth Estero Bay
Basin countries United States
Length 9.3 miles (15.0 km)
Source elevation 14 feet (4.3 m)
Basin area Estero Bay

The Imperial River is a river in southwest Florida in the United States. It is fed by the Kehl Canal and marshland at 26°22′16″N 81°41′23″W / 26.37111°N 81.68972°W / 26.37111; -81.68972, just east of the city limits of Bonita Springs in unincorporated southwest Lee County. It is approximately 9.3 miles (15.0 km) long,[1] from its headwaters just east of I-75 in the Flint Pen Strand,[2] through downtown Bonita Springs and to its mouth at the north end of Fishtrap Bay, near the southern end of Estero Bay. It was originally named Surveyors Creek[3] before the city was developed. The river is part of The Great Calusa Blueway.[4]

On the east side of the Tamiami Trail (U.S. Route 41) bridge, the Imperial River Boat Ramp provides boaters and kayakers with a place to launch their vessels.[5] There is also a small fishing pier onsite. On the west side of the bridge, an 18.3-acre (7.4 ha) park is under construction which will consist of 2,000 feet (610 m) of river frontage and a boardwalk, fishing pier, boat slips and an observation platform with a view of an eagle's nest.[6] Riverside Park in the downtown area provides river access and a bandshell for community events and concerts.[7]

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