Florida Paddling Trails Association
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Charlotte Harbor/Peace River

For the circumnavigational paddlers in this segment, developed and pristine barrier islands contrast each other and paddlers have the option of cruising the bay side or the Gulf side. The Peace River is among local freshwater favorites.

Florida Cities: Port Charlotte, Arcadia, Bartow

Contact: Contact our Region E Director or Trailkeeper for more information by clicking here Click Here


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8 Locations in Charlotte Harbor/Peace River
Boca Grande Bluewayrating3152112/11/2010
Charlotte Harbor Blueway-3485012/10/2008
Gasparilla Island State Parkrating2715112/8/2009
Hoagen Keyrating5850612/8/2009
Peace Riverrating6586311/4/2013
Saddle Creek Trail-2211012/10/2008
Thornton Key-2984112/8/2009
Woolverton Trailrating6535212/5/2014

This is Segment 11, Region E. For the circumnavigational paddlers in this segment, developed and pristine barrier islands contrast each other and paddlers have the option of cruising the bay side or the Gulf side, depending on weather and individual preference.

Traveling on the bay side, the first camping south of Stumps Pass State Park is Dog Island at nine miles. A permit is required to camp on Dog Island. If time permits you can paddle on about 3 miles to Hoagens Key now a campsite of FPTA no permit required. Along the way, be sure to stop at Don Pedro Island to rest. Paddle behind the docks and beach in a small area near the walk over. A short walk from the landing area you will find drinking water, a place to take a cold shower and a toilet. The beach is a great place to go for a swim.

After staying the night at Dog Island, paddle through Gasparilla Sound along scenic Gasparilla Island. A must see is Gasparilla Island State Park, located just before Boca Grande Pass. Land along the bay side and stroll scenic beaches or visit the historic lighthouse before setting off for Cayo Costa.

Boca Grande Pass can be challenging to cross and you should only do so under optimum weather conditions. After making the mile crossing, follow the bay side of Cayo Costa Island for roughly another mile and you'll see the park's boat dock. A small inlet to the right of the dock leads to a kayak and canoe landing.

For other trails, the Charlotte County Blueways highlights 57 trails for canoes and kayaks on the rivers, creeks, bays and estuaries throughout Charlotte County. For river paddling, you can't beat the Peace River where fossil hunting is a favorite pastime.

18.5 miles of circumnavigational trail

1 county blueways system

1 state designated river trail

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Environmental Considerations

  • Extreme caution should be taken in crossing Stump Pass and Boca Grande Pass. Due to currents, boat traffic and breakers on the Gulf side, these crossings should only be attempted by experienced paddlers in favorable weather conditions along the bay side.
  • As with most South Florida segments, boat traffic can be heavy, especially on weekends. Boca Grande Pass can be packed with boats during the peak tarpon season, from April through June.
  • The upper Peace River can be impassable during drought conditions. Call Canoe Outpost to check on conditions: 800-268-0083.

Primary Campsites & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail

  • Weston's Resort near Stump Pass Beach State Park to Dog Island (9 miles) or Hoagen Key (12 miles)
  • Dog Island or Hoagen Key to Cayo Costa State Park, 9.5 or 6.5 miles respectively Interior/River Trails
  • Charlotte County Blueways (57 mapped trails)
  • Peace River (57 miles)

Emergency Contacts

  • Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
  • Charlotte County Sheriff: 941-639-2101
  • Lee County Sheriff: 239-477-1000
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922

External Site Links

Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau