At Amberjack Environmental Park, a surprising collision of scrub and mangrove habitats occurs in Rotunda amid 225 acres of conservation land on high ground in the Cape Haze peninsula of Charlotte County. Accessed via a boardwalk through a mangrove tunnel, Amberjack Slough provides a prominent feature at the north end of the park, an excellent spot for birding. Elsewhere, the landscape is open and panoramic, with pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, and scrub.
Length: Up to 5.6 miles
Fees / Permits: free
Bug factor: moderate
Admission is free. Trail intersections are not all marked and may be confusing; we inadvertently cut our hike short by reaching a 5-way trail intersection with no blazing whatsoever. Blaze post colors may not match those shown on the official park map.
From CR 775 south of Englewood, turn west on Gasparilla Pines Blvd. Follow this road for 1.2 miles through residential neighborhoods until it ends at the park entrance. Park near the kiosk to follow the hiking route shown on this map. There are several different entrances to different loops, and they are not marked.