Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park
Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park is comprised of 43,404 acres and protects more than 100 miles of shoreline along Charlotte Harbor in Charlotte and Lee Counties. It is the third largest Florida State Park. Visitors can take advantage of opportunities to hike, fish, paddle and observe wildlife in the park's many natural communities, including mangrove forests, marshes, scrub habitats and pine flatwoods. Most of the park is shallow water fringed by mangroves, providing amazing opportunities to view wading birds, manatees, dolphins and other wildlife. The park is best accessed by kayak or canoe. Portions of two paddle trail systems wind through the park. Hikers and bird-watchers can access Charlotte Harbor's upland areas at pedestrian walkthroughs available in each section of the park and explore the wildlife found along three marked trails. Visitors can also enjoy the resources provided by the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC) located in the park near Punta Gorda. CHEC is a non-profit group that offers a visitor's center, environmental education programs, interpretive guided hikes and six miles of marked trails. More information can be found at www.checflorida.org. Visitors are welcome to explore other areas of the Preserve, unless posted as closed, but should be aware that these areas are of remote and primitive wilderness. Visitors should take a compass, a map and sufficient water for their trip. No restrooms or drinking water are available.