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Peace River (Florida) facts for kids

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The Peace River is a river in the southwestern part of the Florida peninsula, in the U.S.A.. It originates at the juncture of Saddle Creek and Peace Creek northeast of Bartow in Polk County and flows south through Fort Meade (Polk County) Hardee County to Arcadia in DeSoto County and then southwest into the Charlotte Harbor estuary at Punta Gorda in Charlotte County. It is 106 miles (171 km) long and has a drainage basin of 1,367 square miles (3,540 km2). U.S. Highway 17 runs near and somewhat parallel to the river for much of its course. The river was called Rio de la Paz (River of Peace) on 16th century Spanish charts. It appeared as Peas Creek or Pease Creek on later maps. The Creek (and later, Seminole) Indians call it Talakchopcohatchee, River of Long Peas. Other cities along the Peace River include Fort Meade, Wauchula and Zolfo Springs.

Fresh water from the Peace River is vital to maintain the delicate salinity of Charlotte Harbor that hosts several endangered species, as well as commercial and recreational harvests of shrimp, crabs, and fish. The river has always been a vital resource to the people in its watershed. Historically, the abundant fishery and wildlife of Charlotte Harbor supported large populations of people of the Caloosahatchee culture (in early historic times, the Calusa). Today, the Peace River supplies over six million gallons per day of drinking water to the people in the region. The river is also popular for canoeing.

There were many Pleistocene and Miocene fossils found throughout the Peace River area, eventually leading to the discovery of phosphate deposits. Most of the northern watershed of the Peace River comprises an area known as the Bone Valley.

The Peace River is a popular destination for fossil hunters who dig and sift the river gravel for fossilized shark teeth and prehistoric mammal bones. Several campgrounds and canoe rental operations cater to fossil hunters, with Wauchula, Zolfo Springs, and Arcadia being the main points of entry.


List of crossings

Crossing Carries Image Location Coordinates
Headwaters (Juncture of Peace Creek and Saddle Creek)
Spessard L Holland Bridge Florida 60.svg SR-60 FL Bartow SR 60 Peace River Bridge west02.jpg Bartow 27°54′08″N 81°49′03″W / 27.902242°N 81.817583°W / 27.902242; -81.817583
CR 640 jct.svg Homeland Garfield Road Homeland FL Peace River bridge01.jpg Homeland 27°49′16″N 81°47′59″W / 27.821029°N 81.799746°W / 27.821029; -81.799746
John Singletary Bridge US 98.svg US-98 Fort Meade FL Broadway St bridge05.jpg Fort Meade 27°45′06″N 81°46′55″W / 27.751658°N 81.781944°W / 27.751658; -81.781944
Mt Pisgah Road Fort Meade FL Mt Pisgah Rd bridge01.jpg Fort Meade 27°43′22″N 81°47′24″W / 27.722731°N 81.790080°W / 27.722731; -81.790080
CSX transp logo.svg CSX Transportation CSXT Peace River trestle, Bowling Green FL.jpg Bowling Green 27°39′25″N 81°48′09″W / 27.656907°N 81.802422°W / 27.656907; -81.802422
CR 664 jct.svg County Line Road FL Bowling Green CR 664 bridge01.jpg Bowling Green 27°38′46″N 81°48′08″W / 27.646201°N 81.802127°W / 27.646201; -81.802127
CR 664A jct.svg Lake Branch Road FL Bowling Green CR 664 bridge under01.jpg Bowling Green 27°38′46″N 81°48′08″W / 27.646201°N 81.802127°W / 27.646201; -81.802127
Heard Bridge Heard Bridge Road Wauchula FL Heard Bridge Rd bridge01.jpg Wauchula 27°34′33″N 81°48′16″W / 27.575748°N 81.804507°W / 27.575748; -81.804507
Florida 636.svg SR-636 (East Main Street) FL Wauchula Main St Peace River bridge south01.jpg Wauchula 27°33′02″N 81°47′37″W / 27.550552°N 81.793650°W / 27.550552; -81.793650
CR 652 jct.svg Griffin Road Wauchula FL Griffin Rd bridge01.jpg Wauchula 27°32′27″N 81°47′31″W / 27.540773°N 81.791993°W / 27.540773; -81.791993
Doyle E. Carlton Bridge US 17.svg US 17 US-17 Bridge Over the Peace River.jpg Zolfo Springs 27°30′16″N 81°48′01″W / 27.504464°N 81.800392°W / 27.504464; -81.800392
Florida 64.svg FL 64 Zolfo Springs FL SR 64 Peace River Bridge01.jpg Zolfo Springs 27°29′59″N 81°48′38″W / 27.499605°N 81.810426°W / 27.499605; -81.810426
NE Brownville Street FL Brownville Peace River bridge east02.jpg Brownville 27°18′10″N 81°50′46″W / 27.302668°N 81.846136°W / 27.302668; -81.846136
Seminole Gulf Railway Peace River FL 2016 3.JPG Arcadia 27°14′12″N 81°53′10″W / 27.236562°N 81.886005°W / 27.236562; -81.886005
Footbridge (Old SR 70 bridge) Arcadia FL old Peace River Bridge01.JPG Arcadia 27°13′20″N 81°52′34″W / 27.222132°N 81.876162°W / 27.222132; -81.876162
Florida 70.svg FL 70 Arcadia FL SR 70 Peace River Bridge 01.JPG Arcadia 27°13′16″N 81°52′35″W / 27.221049°N 81.876462°W / 27.221049; -81.876462
CR 760 jct.svg CR 760 CR760Crossing.jpg Arcadia 27°09′45″N 81°54′06″W / 27.162392°N 81.901656°W / 27.162392; -81.901656
CR 761 jct.svg CR 761 FL Fort Ogden Peace River bridge west02.jpg Fort Odgen 27°05′19″N 81°59′38″W / 27.088557°N 81.993994°W / 27.088557; -81.993994
I-75.svg I-75 Peace River I-75.jpg Solana 26°57′37″N 82°01′13″W / 26.960237°N 82.020220°W / 26.960237; -82.020220
Barron Collier Bridge and Gilchrist Bridge US 41.svg US 41 Barron Collier Bridge.jpg Punta Gorda 26°56′42″N 82°03′29″W / 26.945115°N 82.057946°W / 26.945115; -82.057946
Mouth (Charlotte Harbor)
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