Paddle Punta Gorda


Saturday, November 4, 2023 

Successful Paddle Punta Gorda 2023 event! 

A total of 66 participants paddled in great SWFL weather at four locations to learn about our beautiful scenic waterways. Numerous prizes were raffled including the grand prize, a $500 paddle donated by EPIC Kayaks. Launch site sponsors included Downtown Bait & Tackle, Kayak Eco Tours, Bay Kayaking, and Denise June, Realtor w/ Home Integrity Team.
Thanks to CHEC for partnering with TEAM on this project and to all the volunteers that made this event successful at the four scenic sites:

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center
• Site Coordinators: Gina Silvidi-Cairns and Jan Holm.
• Guides: Pete Hohmann, Brian Blankinship, and Kristina Blankinship.
• Naturalist: Ashley Cook

Wm R Gaines Jr Veterans Memorial Park
• Site Coordinators: Betsy Spagnolo and Ron Knight.
• Guide: Rolf Simonson, Kathy Simonson, Pat Owens, and Judy Perkins.
• Naturalist: Steph Courtney.

Babcock/Webb Lake
• Site Coordinators: Hal Sterwerf and Carol Moore.
• Guides: Dale Nees, Amy Blakeley.
• Naturalist: Michael Bednar.

Ponce de Leon Park
• Site Coordinators: Bill Wood and Ron Dressler.
• Guides: Bill Schuyler, Valli Knowles.
• Naturalist: Chris Salmonsen.

[Thanks to Paddle Punta Gorda Paddlers for providing great pictures! Click on thumbnails below to see full slide show]


THANKS to our sponsors!




Paddle Punta Gorda 2019 was well attended with 120 registered paddlers. Each had a choice of seven local waterway trails. The morning of November 9th saw a light rain which quickly gave way to clear skies and a great morning!

Each trail featured a lead a sweep and a Florida certified naturalist. Following an enjoyable morning on the water, paddlers assembled at the Laishley Park community room for conversation and lunch, many looking forward to next year’s event.

Let’s give a round of applause for our 2019 sponsors:

Beef O’Brady’s        Downtown Bait & Tackle           Enterprise Car Rental       Freedom Boat Club           Holidaze Boat Rentals        Kayak Eco Tours  Nino’s Bakery & Restaurant           Peace River Distributing         Publix Grocery         Punta Gorda Rent-All       Rapid Grafix          Seatow               Water Life Magazine           Windmill Paddlers



As a part of TEAMs Maritime Committee, Paddle Punta Gorda emphasizes that while Punta Gorda is a “water community,” that means even more than being adjacent to the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor.  The event premiered on November 12, 2016 with naturalists guiding 90 kayakers through five tours on the Peace River, Shell Creek, Alligator Creek, Lettuce Lake and Ponce de Leon Park waters.

ponce-2The event was such a success that 100% of those responding to the survey (which was most of the paddlers) said they would recommend the event to a friend.   As one paddler put it, the benefit was “Going where I’d never been.  Learning all of the paddling venues in the area that I was unaware of.”  One lucky paddler won the grand prize, a carbon fiber kayak paddle.  




TEAM’s 2018 Paddle Punta Gorda kayak event was a great success. We had over 80 registered paddlers who enjoyed accompanied trail tours by 8 Florida-certified naturalists. Four local trails were used: Alligator Creek, Peace River, Ponce de Leon, and Shell Creek.
After a morning on the trails, the paddlers returned to the Laishley Marina Community Room for lunch, sharing of experiences, and tee shirt distribution. A special shout-out to our many sponsors and volunteers.
Profit from the event will go toward maintaining and establishing local kayak launch sites.