Manager's Message

Manager's Message Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park

John Aspiolea, Park Manager

There are several trails that provide opportunities for observing birds and other wildlife around the Preserve. If you are looking for well-maintained trails, you may want to visit our Punta Gorda Management Unit on Burnt Store Road. 

Stop in at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center for great information about the habitats and animals that this park protects.

There are other trails throughout the park; however, most of these provide a more natural experience and the trails receive less maintenance than those in Punta Gorda. There are 40 public access points spread throughout the Preserve. Please call the park office for information about the trails.

Florida's heat and insects can be overwhelming for the unprepared. Bring water and bug spray. Relax and walk slowly, while absorbing the beauty of the preserve. Take plenty of water breaks, but remember, there is no drinking water available in the back-country of the preserve, so be sure to bring enough water to sustain you for your well-planned hike. 

Volunteers spend many hours maintaining the trails and working with our resource management team to protect and restore the preserve’s natural and cultural resources. If you would like to find out more about volunteering in one of the most beautiful places in Florida, please give us a call.

Another way to experience the preserve is by canoe, kayak or shallow draft powerboat. Fishing in the back bays and tidal creeks of the preserve is some of the best in the world. Please follow all applicable fishing regulations.

More information about paddling opportunities:

The Friends of the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves dedicate time and money every year to support activities in the preserve.