D26. Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park: Little Pine Island Trail
Nearest City: Matlacha
Phone Number: 941-575-5861
Amenities: Birding by foot/hiking, Best time of day: All day, Recommended length of visit: a few hours br>
Habitats: Freshwater Marsh/Wetlands, Mangrove Swamp, Pines, Hardwoods/Mixed Forest, Mudflats
Two miles of hiking trails will lead you through this high marsh site, past interior coastal hammock and over salt flats to some isolated wetland areas. A great site for a winter visit, keep an eye out for Northern Harriers and Palm Warblers, as well as species such as Blue-winged Teal on the remote pond at the rear of the property. Breeding season brings Common Nighthawks as well as Bald Eagles, and the wet season (summer) provides foraging habitat for many wading species such as White Ibises and Roseate Spoonbills. This site is within an active mitigation area, and the trails may change location from time to time due to this (as well as from seasonal flooding). Call for trail conditions and any closures, bring lots of water and insect repellent, and enjoy exploring this rare interior island site.
Directions: From intersection of SR 78 (Pine Island Rd.) and CR 765 (Burnt Store Rd.) in Cape Coral, drive 3.7 mi. west on SR 78 to parking area on right (N). From the drawbridge in the small island town of Matlacha, west of North Fort Myers, the parking area is 1.8 mi. west on the right (N).
Open all year.