Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve Tours
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Few places show off the biodiversity of Florida’s waterways better than Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Here, 3,500 acres (1,416 hectares) of prime Florida wetland and upland ecosystems—created as rainwater drains into Estero Bay—provide a habitat for alligators, wading birds, wild pigs, otters, butterflies, and other native fauna.
Visitors to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve can explore the park via a 1.2-mile (2-kilometer) elevated boardwalk. Observation platforms offer a bird’s-eye view of the wetlands, while installed photo blinds allow aspiring wildlife photographers to get that perfect shot without being seen by animals. The Interpretive Center (a LEED-certified green building) provides an introduction to the slough through a series of interactive displays, plus a gift shop selling nature-themed souvenirs that support the slough’s conservation. The center also serves as the point of departure for guided nature walks through the preserve.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The boardwalk and viewing platforms of the preserve make it a favorite among families traveling with kids.
- Admission to the preserve is free, but there’s a small charge for parking.
- Public restrooms are located near the entrance and at several of the observation decks.
- Visitors are welcome to enjoy a picnic at tables outside the Interpretive Center.
- The park’s boardwalk and facilities are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is located on Ben C. Pratt Six Mile Cypress Parkway on the southern outskirts of Fort Myers. Paid parking is available at the Interpretive Center.
When to Get There
The preserve trails are open daily from dawn to dusk, while the Interpretive Center is open Tuesday to Sunday. Wildlife viewing is possible year round, though the scenery changes between the wet season (June to September) and dry season (October to May). Guided walks generally depart in the mornings.
The Great Florida Birding Trail
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is one of more that 500 wildlife viewing sites that comprise the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Birdwatchers looking to spot more species while in the Fort Myers area should consider visiting some of Lee County’s other sites on the trail, including the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Lovers Key State Park near Fort Myers, or Cayo Costa State Park south of Boca Grande.
Address: 7791 Penzance Blvd., Fort Myers 33966, USA
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