(Last Updated On: November 30, 2022)
Clear sky over the water at Don Pedro Island State Park

Clear sky over the water at Don Pedro Island State Park. Photo: Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Escape to the serenity of Don Pedro Island State Park for a chance to swim, snorkel, hike, fish, picnic, collect shells and view beautiful endangered species.

Accessible only by private boat or ferry, this Florida state park lies along a section of Don Pedro Island in Charlotte County, Florida, only 44 miles south of Sarasota and 57 miles north of Fort Myers. This peaceful area along the barrier islands, appreciated by many over thousands of years, has been a state park since 1985.

Activities

Prepare for your brief island getaway – pack a picnic lunch and binoculars, bird lists, maps, fishing gear, swimsuit and anything else you may need for a few hours of rest and relaxation in this beautiful paradise.And you’ll need to plan ahead since the park is located on Little Gasparilla Island and only accessible by boat.

Once you’re there… discover nature and wildlife along Florida’s southwest coast, learn more about the area through one of the ranger-led programs, collect shells and so much more.

Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Don Pedro Island State Park:

Boating at Don Pedro Island State Park

Bring your canoe or kayak and spend the day off the coast of Don Pedro Island State Park. Day use only docks are available on the bay side. For docking access and more information please call 941-964-0375.

Swimming at Don Pedro Island State Park

Swim and snorkel in the clear blue waters, and collect shells while enjoying the beautiful white sandy beach along the Gulf of Mexico. A swimming area is available for guests on the east side of the island. You may also bring your own scuba gear and dive along the beach area.

Hiking at Don Pedro Island State Park

Don Pedro Island State Park has one distinct nature trail that leads the hiker through 11 different natural communities. This trail is considered easy and gives visitors more opportunities to see nature and wildlife inside the park. Keep an eye out for a few of the island’s protected plant species.

Fishing at Don Pedro Island State Park

Pick up a Florida fishing license and pack your angling gear for a relaxing day of fishing inside Don Pedro Island State park. The Intracoastal Waterway and the gulf of Mexico provide ideal conditions for catching whiting, redfish, snook, trout, snapper, flounder, tarpon and sheepshead.

Birding at Don Pedro Island State Park

Many native and migratory birds may be spotted within the park’s 10 natural habitats. Some you may glimpse during your visit are bald eagles, terns, plovers, sandpipers, gulls and the American oystercatcher.

Nature and Wildlife at Don Pedro Island State Park

Beautiful Don Pedro Island State Park is home to many species of wildlife. Many migratory species may be seen here as well. The coastal waterways, grasslands, maritime hammock and slash pine protect such creatures as the West Indian manatee, gopher tortoise, bald eagle, loggerhead sea turtles, rabbits and white-tailed deer.

Pets at Don Pedro Island State Park

Pets are allowed within Don Pedro Island State Park but must be supervised and kept on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet. Pets are not permitted inside any park buildings or on the beach.

Camping Near Don Pedro Island State Park

Don Pedro Island State Park doesn’t offer overnight accommodations at this time. For visitors hoping to stay over, nearby Cayo Costa State Park is a good option.

Cayo Costa State Park, located just 11 miles away in Captiva features 30 primitive tent campsites and 12 rustic cabins. Campsites are located close to the beach in a primitive area and the cabins are nestled in a wooded area near the nature trails.

Each campsite has a picnic table, grill and access to potable water and restrooms. A tram service is provided daily between 10 am and 4 pm to bring campers from the docks to the campground one mile away.

And each cabin is a one room style with 3 bunk beds, a table and a porch, but no electricity or water. An outdoor grill is provided and restrooms are a short walk away. This park is also located on an island and everything that you will need must be carried in, including food and water.

Park Location

Don Pedro Island State Park
8450 Placida Rd
Placida, FL 33946
Phone: 941.964.0375

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Don Pedro Island State Park: