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Our Programs

Alligator Creek programs include guided hikes, wading trips, topical lectures, curated films, seasonal camps, kayak tours, and animal encounters; to name a few. We are constantly looking for new and better ways to bring programs to our patrons. CHEC strives to be your source for all things environmental education, recreation, and research. With 46,000 acres, our living laboratory has something for everyone. 


The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center is located on 46,000+ acres of preserve land. We have 4 interconnected trails that serve to offer an endless variety of hiking. We offer free guided hikes, led by our amazing naturalists, every Tuesday and Thursday during season. For the brave, we offer nighttime guided hikes that take visitors on a moonlit guided hike to see what happens in the park after dark. Registration is required.



Our lecture series brings together top-minds in the fields of biology, ecology, history, and more. These presentations allow visitors to learn about topical subjects from the individuals working at the forefront. Whether educators, professionals, or activists, these lectures are an interesting and engaging way to participate and learn about conservation. 

Films - Wild Wednesdays

Wild Wednesdays are a series of curated nature films on select Wednesdays during "season"), designed to enlighten, inspire, and awe.  These films provide knowledge that spurs conversation and positive action. We invite you to join us, attend one or more of our educational programs, and learn how you can make a difference.


Eco Kayak Tours

CHEC's kayak tours take our visitor explorers along Alligator Creek, where wildlife and nature make the journey out to the Charlotte Harbor, one to remember.
While paddling through estuaries, you will encounter mangrove rookeries, seagrass nurseries, and oyster bars. No experience or equipment needed; our outfitter will provide everything you need, but make sure to bring plenty of drinking water and wear sun protection (long-sleeves and hats, or reef-safe sunscreen with no oxybenzone). 

Children must be 10 years of age or older, and anyone under 16 must share a double-seated kayak with an adult.  

Meet at CHEC (10941 Burnt Store Road). Hike approximately 1/2 mile to the launch site. 

Watch our calendar for tour dates.  Click the button below for more information, and to book a tour.

Wading Trips

We offer public and private (paid) wading adventures at both locations (Punta Gorda's take place at Ponce de Leon Park). Paid wading trips are $15.00 per person with a minimum of 6 persons. 

Watch our calendar for dates and times. 


To register, call either location for more information.  Private trips may be scheduled at any time by completing and submitting a registration form.  

Enjoy an aquatic adventure with one of our resident experts.  Wade into the estuary, where you'll learn about unique marine life, vital vegetation, and local water resources. 

We recommend all guests bring sun protection  (hat, glasses, sunscreen) and water. You are encouraged to wear sneakers or water shoes.  Make a splash and discover something new.

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CHEC's camps offer fun activities, experiments, animals, and more. Our campers learn about the environments through hand's on experience. What good is learning about nature if you can't experience it first hand. Field trips, animal encounters, and science experiments ensure our campers not only have a great experience, but they accidentally learn too. Check our homepage for registration forms each and every camp season

Little Explorers

Join our environmental educators as they teach our littlest explorers all about the natural world. From our live animal ambassadors to our unique exhibits, our visitors learn from hands-on interaction. Environmental education is always more fun when it involves a little bit of dirt. See our calendar for dates and times.

Register at 941-575-5435

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