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 but must be leashed at all times. This is to protect both your pet and the wildlife. Please bring a plastic bag to pick up after your dog (scoop the poop!) and place the sealed bags in the appropriate trash container.
While here you must comply with State Park and CHEC rules, which include no alcohol or smoking on the premises, no camping or fishing, and no bike riding or vehicles on trails. In addition, please do not remove any flora or fauna from CHEC property. Alligators are protected by State and Federal laws. Please do not approach or disturb the 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.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday from mid-October – April.
Follow the boardwalk from the parking lot up to the Charles E. Caniff Welcome Center. Some of the special items for sale include:
A variety of informational books and guides on south Florida wildlife;
Fresh, raw local honey - very popular;
Children’s gifts including stuffed animals, books, t-shirts and other toys;
Hand carved wood walking sticks, beautifully crafted, 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 made 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. 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.