Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center

An aerial view of the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center.

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, or CHEC, was established in 1987, to "raise public awareness of the value of our natural and cultural resources by providing environmental education, recreation, research and management of conservation lands.” Their headquarters are located inside the park in Punta Gorda.

At the environmental center you can hike the trails at your leisure, take a guided hike with a naturalist, enjoy photography exhibits or browse and shop at a unique gift shop. Some of our most exciting programs include movie programs with discussions, focused lectures by Florida Master Naturalists, scientists, and historians, fishing clinics, nature camps for school children and a native plant nursery.

The six miles of marked trails accessed from this site will take you through most of the different natural communities that the park manages. Most of them have interpretive signage where you can learn more about the plants, animals and the ecology of the park.

Two of the favorite trails are the Eagle Point Trail, which will take you to Alligator Creek with a beautiful picnic area on the water. The Three Lakes Trail will take you through coastal wetlands on a series of boardwalks. The highlight is walking across a pond shoreline on a secluded mangrove-shaded 250-foot-long boardwalk.