What to do in Don Pedro Island State Recreation Area

Don Pedro Island State Recreation Area is a 129-acre barrier island lying across the Intracoastal Waterway from Cape Haze. Characterized by mangrove forests and sugar white beaches, this remote island offers relaxing day use amenities centered on a variety of water sports and nature study. Water sports are limited only by ones imagination. Park rangers offer a variety of guided nature talks and walks throughout the year. The park has a small entrance fee, boat docks, and plenty of ocean breezes and hot sun. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and bring plenty of drinking water. Call the park of their scheduled program dates and times.

Don Pedro Island is part of an extensive chain of barrier islands extending along the Gulf coast of Florida. Located in Charlotte County between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro Island has approximately one mile of beach that has been acquired for use as a state recreation area. The docks are located on the bay side via a channel from the Intracoastal Waterway south of the Cape Haze powerline crossing. Controlling depth in the channel is 2.5 feet so caution should be taken when entering at IDLE speed.

The natural features of the park include a white sand beach and elevated sand dune. The dune is covered with protected sea oats, while the bay side of the island is bordered with mangrove trees. Loggerhead sea turtles often come ashore on midsummer nights to nest and lay eggs on the beach. Visitors are reminded that disturbances to sea turtles are not permitted.

Don Pedro Islands State Recreation Area offers boating, fishing, picnicking, swimming, shelling, diving and nature study. The island is accessible by private boat only and the park entrance fee is $2.00 per boat.

Caution should be taken when swimming, as there are no lifeguards on duty at this site. Visitors are reminded that it is prohibited to remove live shells (hermit crabs, sand dollars, etc.).

Don Pedro Island State Recreation Area is located in southwest Florida, between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island in Charlotte County and south of Sarasota.

The climate in southern Florida is subtropical, with mild winters and hot, wet summers. It is not unusual for temperatures to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit with averages reaching above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging above 64 degrees Fahrenheit (above 18 Celsius). Yearly precipitation for the southwest area is more than 56 inches. Lightweight clothing for hot temperatures is suggested. Long sleeves, pants, sturdy shoes and bug repellent are recommended if hiking.

c/o Gasparilla Island S.R.A.
P.O. Box 1150
Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: 941-964-0375

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