Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: Gate closed but walk-through (behind the information kiosk) available from sunrise to sunset
Sunrise to Sunset Every Day
If the gate is shut or locked during daylight hours, please park in the area to the right of the entrance road. Do not block the gate. Use the walk-through that is also to the right of the road. Some holidays the gate may be closed, but it is public land and is open to you 365 days a year, during daylight hours.
CHEC at Alligator Creek
The Alligator Creek Preserve was established in 1987. It is adjacent to the 30,000+acre Charlotte Harbor State Park Preserve. CHEC is located on property owned by the State of Florida and the Center’s portion is leased to the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Inc. for environmental, educational, and recreational activities. The Alligator Creek Preserve includes four (4) miles of nature trails. Year-round volunteers offer interpretive trail walks to the public free of charge.
Dog are allowed to hike with you but must be leashed at all times, on a leash no longer than 6 feet long. This is to protect both your pet and the wildlife, too. Please bring a plastic bag to pick up after your dog. (Scoop the Poop!).
While here you must comply with the State Park Rules which include No Alcohol or Camping, No bike riding or smoking on trails, and No Collection of any kind. Alligators are protected by State and Federal laws. Please do not approach or disturb alligators or any other wildlife.
The Rose Isaksen Gift Shop
This special gift shop, located in the Caniff Welcome Center, is full of unique southwest Florida gifts. (The gift shop is staffed by volunteers and is open on an as-staffed basis. You may call ahead to confirm access).
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Friday from November – mid-April
Follow the boardwalk from the parking lot up to the Charles E. Caniff Visitor's Center building. Some of the special items for sale include:
A variety of informational books and guides on south Florida wildlife
Fresh, raw honey sourced from a local beekeeper in Englewood, FL – very popular;
Children’s gifts including stuffed animals, books, t-shirts and other toys;
Hand carved walking sticks, beautifully crafted, are an ideal gift for avid hikers! The wood is from Birch, Pine, Ash, Cherry, Beech, Mangrove, Carrot, and Melaleuca trees from both Florida and New Hampshire. Each walking stick is zip code inscribed with the origin of the tree wood, along with the wood type and Charlotte Harbor name;
Handmade bird houses, butterfly houses, bat houses and children's bug catchers, of recycled wood, made with love by volunteers;
Hand-made ceramics and small wallets;
Florida themed T-shirts of various sizes…youth to adult;
Beautiful CHEC coffee mugs, ball caps and totes,
and other interesting environmentally-themed items.
Stop by the Rose Isaksen Gift Shop and see all the wonderful things inside, for yourself, or for the perfect gift! Friends of CHEC members receive a 10% discount on specific items in this store.
Wildlife and plants observed within the park
Birds listed were seen and heard by Malcolm Simons, master birder, over many years as a CHEC volunteer.