The Harborwalk project extends from the Adrienne St fishing pier westward to Fishermans Village via Laishley and Gilchrist Parks. As the name suggests, it is a walk along the edge of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor. Adrienne street is a very short street which is mostly the parking area for the eastern end of the walk. It was once longer but, the Charlotte Regional Medical Center extended it’s bounds across the street and it is now the driveway in front of the hospital.
These two shots show the entrance to the park and the view from the fishing pier. If you want to see more detail, just click on the pictures for a larger view.
As you look down the park, you can see the new Justice Center which lies between Nesbit St and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Start walking in that direction and the path goes through the middle of a mangrove swamp for a short distance. This provides shade and an opportunity to see some of the nature along the path.
The picture on the right above is two fiddler crabs disputing territory. The smaller crab, top left, is guarding his den with an agressive display with his large claw. The larger crab to the right is in a defensive position. You will see plenty of these along the path along with the black mangrove crabs and other wildlife.
As you walk the path you might think that the mangroves are all alike. Despite the fact that their leaves are nearly identical, there are actually four different types in Punta Gorda. The red, black and white mangroves all grow together and the differences are hard to see except when they are producing seeds. The red mangrove produces long hanging propagules which don’t fall off the tree until they are ready for planting. It’s a tree that makes it’s own cuttings. The black mangrove also produces a smaller propagule which is more like a seed and the white mangrove an even smaller version. The fourth type is the buttonwood which prefers much drier ground. Here are the red and black varieties for comparison.
and the white mangrove and buttonwood look like this.
There really aren’t any facilities along this part of the Harborwalk but, Laishley Park and its marina are close to the MLK end. Parking is available on any of the side streets on the northern side of Marion Ave. It is best to drive out to Cooper St just past the hospital and return on Marion to access the streets.