C21. Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center: Alligator Creek Preserve
Nearest City: Punta Gorda
Phone Number: 941-575-5435
Amenities: Restrooms, Birding by foot/hiking, Best time of day: Both morning and evening, Recommended length of visit: a few hours br>
Habitats: Freshwater Swamp, Freshwater Marsh/Wetlands, Mangrove Swamp, Pines, Lake/Pond/Impoundment, Hardwoods/Mixed Forest
This small site is actually part of a much larger aquatic buffer preserve. Three loop trails offer almost 5 miles of possibilities, not including a longer spur trail into the buffer preserve itself. They will take you through very different habitat types: one through pine flatwoods that harbor Red-shouldered Hawks and Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and the other around freshwater marsh and through remnant tropical hammock where you will see wrens and vireos. You may hear or actually catch sight of an Eastern Screech-Owl. Walk carefully and be aware that there is a lot of poison ivy here.
Directions: From intersection of US 41, SR 768 (Jones Loop Rd.), and CR 765 (Burnt Store Rd.) south of Punta Gorda, drive 1.2 mi. south on CR 765 to the entrance on the right (W).
Open all year, dawn to dusk; visitor center open Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.