|Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary|
A unique two-mile boardwalk winds through pinelands, wet prairie, marsh, lakes, and the world’s largest remaining subtropical old-growth bald cypress forest. In spring and summer months, enjoy splendid native ferns, orchids, bromeliads, and wildflowers.
Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Alligator Creek Site
|Description: The center is located on 3,000 acres of diverse habitat bordered on the north by Alligator Creek, and on the west by Charlotte Harbor. Stop at the visitor’s reception building to view an exhibit of area ecosystems and beautiful carved wood replicas of birds and fish. A touch tank, mounts of local birds, and fossils can be seen in a small museum annex.|
Wildlife to Watch: On sunny winter days, watch for American alligators basking in ponds and other wetlands. Soft-shell and other aquatic turtles are also common. Gopher tortoises and their sandy, excavated burrows are frequently seen in the flatwoods. Snakes, including the rare eastern indigo, may be spotted on the trails year-round. From December through April, watch for nesting bald eagles. In spring, migratory warblers are frequently observed in the hammocks. Bobcat are active year-round in the early morning. Note the black vulture roost on the long trail. Woodpeckers, including pileated, are active in the flatwoods all year. Look for a variety of herons and egrets along Alligator Creek and in the marshes.
Special Tips: Center is open Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Summer hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day) are Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon.
Photographer’s blind available.
Other Activities: A one-mile trail meets the Alligator Creek, and traverses pine-palmetto flatwoods, cabbage palm and oak hammock, fresh and saltwater marsh, and mangrove swamp.
On a longer 1.75-mile trail, visitors hike through flatwoods, beautiful stands of old cabbage palms, a brackish pond, and oak hammock.
Ownership: Department of Environmental Protection; managed by Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Inc.
Size: 3000 acres
Closest Town: Punta Gord
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: