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Tracks lead down the beach with the surf to the left and dunes to the right. A boardwalk leads to the bathhouse and showers at Don Pedro Island State Park. Feathery-tipped muhly grass blows in the wind. A sign on the dune marks the south boundary of Don Pedro Island State Park.
Don Pedro Island State Park
Clouds billow over a sparkling sea just beyond the beach and sea oats.

History and Culture

For thousands of years Native Americans lived in and around Charlotte Harbor. During the 1700s and 1800s, Spanish fisherman fished the area waters. After years of changing ownership, Don Pedro Island was sold to Cavanaugh Community Corporation in 1969. They built the pavilion and docks on the southeastern portion of the island. In 1985, the property was purchased by the state. The Don Pedro Land Base, acquired in 1999, adds about 100 acres of recreational opportunities to the park.

The picnic pavilion is a popular destination for visitors.

Picnic Pavilion

The picnic pavilion at Don Pedro Island State Park is only a short walk from the boat dock area. It is a perfect place to relax, enjoy the shade and have a picnic or barbecue with family and friends.

Pale, sand-colored ghost crabs, like the one in this photo, are a common site at Don Pedro Island State Park.

Ghost Crab

Ghost crabs, dolphins, pelicans, ospreys and bald eagles are some of the many animals seen at Don Pedro Island State Park.

A sandy trail winds through the brush.

Trail

There are many trails at Don Pedro Island State Park. Set out on one of the trails for a hike or leisurely stroll.

Don Pedro's dock, shown at a distance with its 15 boat slips.

Don Pedro Dock

Don Pedro Island State Park is only accessible by boat. Visitors can come by private boat, ride the ferry or paddle over by kayak or canoe. There are 15 boat slips at the island's dock and kayak tours are available from the land base park. The tour includes paddling through a mangrove tunnel at high tide and seeing Don Pedro Island's beautiful beach and trails.

A stretch of coastal grassland where the muhly grass flowers each October.

Coastal Grassland

Every fall at Don Pedro Island State Park, the muhly grass blooms. Since the coastal grassland is filled with muhly grass, it looks like a field of purple tinged feathers blowing in the breeze . Coastal grasslands make up the largest area on Don Pedro Island. It is beautiful year round, but especially in the fall.