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Charlotte County

Audubon-Pennington Nature Park

This Park is on a small penisula-shaped piece of land between the Elkcam and Yale Waterways.  Its official address is 1153 Alton Road.  It is located north of Midway, south of Peachland and east of Harbor Blvd.  From US41, go east on Midway and turn left onto Alton (adjacent to the Port Charlotte Jr. High School).  Go north on Alton. The Park is on the left side.  This is a small Park, probably less than 2 acres.  It has several walking trails that are maintained by the Peace River Audubon Society.  

Prairie Creek Preserve

The Preserve is comprised of 1,603 acres of predominately native habitat that straddles Prairie Creek.  It was purchased in 2008 using Conservation Charlotte funds.  This Preserve sustains and improves wildlife habitat, especially for the Florida Scrub Jay and provides future opportunities for connectivity and wildlife corridors.  It was opened to the public in November, 2008.  It can be reached by taking I-75 to US 17 (exit 164).  Go north for 6.6 miles.  It is 0.8 miles north of the north part of Washington Loop Road and directly across from Palm Shores Road.  Turn right off of US 17.  Go 3.5 miles along smooth gravel road to reach the entrance.  You will find a lot of birds (Hawks, Shrikes, Phoebes, Warblers) along this 3.5-mile stretch, so keep your eyes open.  Go another 1.5 miles in the Preserve to the parking area.  Following is a map of the Preserve.

Ollie’s Pond Park

This is a small Park (41 acres) located in Port Charlotte on the northeast corner of Bly Ave and Felda St.  One way to get there is to take US41 to Edgewater Drive.  Head west on Edgewater Drive to Pellam Blvd and turn right. Proceed north on Pellam, turning left at Poston Ave. Then turn right on Scenery St and go one block.  The Park is on the northwest corner of Scenery St and Bly Ave.  There is a pond in the Park and a walking path that goes around it.

Port Charlotte Beach

The Port Charlotte Beach Complex is a 15-acre site located at the south end of Harbor Blvd in Port Charlotte.  The address is 4500 Harbor Blvd.  From US41, turn south on Harbor Blvd and proceed to the end.  Parking is available at $0.75 per hour.  Many different species of shorebirds and wading birds frequent the shoreline at various times of the year.  The best time for birding is when the tide is low, exposing the sand and mud flats.

Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb State Wildlife Management Area 

This WMA is located southeast of Punta Gorda.  From Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda, one can take US 41 or I-75.  On US 41 travel south to Tuckers Grade road (approximately 3 miles beyond Burnt Store road).  Turn left (east) unto Tuckers Road; proceed under the I-75 over pass into the WMA.  On I-75, travel south and take the Tuckers Grade exit (Exit 27).  Turn left (east) into the WMA.

There is a pay station on the right side, about 0.5 miles beyond the I-75 overpass.  The cost is $3.00 per person or $6.00 per car.  Florida seniors with an in-state driver's license get in free.  The envelope stub should be hung from your car's front window mirror.

There are ponds on both sides of Tuckers Grade near the entrance where wading birds can be frequently observed.  One can turn right and take the paved road for about five miles, which runs alongside a long narrow lake.  Or one can proceed east on Tuckers Grade, turn left (north) unto Seaboard Grade, and left (west) again on Tram Grade.  Then return back to Tuckers Grade by turning south on Oil Well Grade.

Tippecanoe Environmental Park

This Park is a 380 acre preserve with diverse habitats including oak scrub, scrubby flatwoods, pine flatwoods, coastal hammocks, floodplain forest, salt marshes and mangrove swamps.  Tippecanoe is home to a family of Florida Scrub Jays, as well as a large population of gopher tortoises.  Boardwalks provide visitors the opportunity to observe the bird wildlife within the mangroves and look out over the marshes.

Tippecanoe Environmental Park is located behind the Charlotte County Sports Stadium of of SR 776.  The address is 2400 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte, FL.

For more information, including a map of the trails within the Park, click on the following link.

   http://www.charlottecountyfl.com/CommunityServices/NaturalResources/EnvironmentalLands/Environmental                Parks/Tippecanoe/

Stump Pass Beach State Park

This state park is located at the south end of Manasota Key in the town of Englewood, Florida.  The address is 700 Gulf Blvd, Englewood, Fl.  The 245-acre park consists of three islands and the protected channels between them.  The Park is open from 8 am until sundown 365 days a year.  

Most of the birds are found at the southern tip of the Park.  On Manasota Key, there is a 1.3-mile trail through a wooded area or one can walk along the beach to reach the southern end of the island.

To reach the Park, take CR 776 into Englewood.  Turn west on Beach Road.  Stay on Beach Road onto Manasota Key. When the road splits, keep to your left.  This will become Gulf Blvd.  Stay on Gulf Blvd till the road ends; you will be right in front of the Park entrance.  There is a $3 fee per vehicle to enter the Park.

For more information, including a map of the Park, click on the following link.

     http://www.floridastateparks.org/stumppass/default.cfm