When I think of hiking I usually think of the mountains. But there are some great places to go hiking in southwest Florida. One place we love in the Fort Myers area is called Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers. If you are looking for a chance to see southwest Florida nature and wildlife up close and personal, this is a great location! It’s also a fun place in Fort Myers to go walking and hiking.
My kids loved walking around this 3,500 acre wetland in Fort Myers, okay, we didn’t walk all 3,500 acres! But we did walk the 1.2 mile boardwalk trail.
This is a fun place to take kids in Fort Myers! It’s also a great educational spot for parents and kids and/or home school groups. My husband is so good about cultural stuff like this. During our hike he was pointing out all kinds of animals and reptiles.
We stopped on a whim the first time we visited, so we thought the next time we would go to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve we would be a little more prepared and we would do scavenger hunt. I put together a printable list of animals, reptiles and birds for the kids to look for and mark off as they walk the trail. It’s a fun way to discuss wildlife with the kids and get them excited about the outdoors.
This list doesn’t have to be used just on the Six Mile Cypress trail. The animals on the list are local to southwest Florida so they can be used at any hiking trail in this area.
What to use on the scavenger hunt?
- This printable scavenger hunt. Download it by clicking here.
- We brought little binoculars along which were perfect because some of the animals were far out and were hard to see without binoculars. Find some cute and durable binoculars here!
- Comfortable shoes
- A camera – or your phone to take pictures with! There are so many animals and trees and beautiful picture opportunities on this hike. Be sure to capture some of it on camera!
- Sunglasses. It’s all outside so you will need those sunglasses if it’s a bright, sunny day….which it usually is because we are in beautiful southwest Florida, am I right?
Remember, the scavenger hunt can be used for all ages and as many kids as you would like to print one out for. So if you have a big homeschool group, this would still work. I think it’s a great way to teach the kids more about the importance of our wildlife, learn about mangroves, insects, trees, swamps and more! Combining educating and fun is always a win-win!
A little more about Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is located at 7751 Penzance Boulevard in Fort Myers. There is a big parking lot so don’t fret about parking. For any additional information please call them at (239) 533-7556. They do have events and activities so be sure to check out their website. They also have a little museum where you can check out a little more about the history of the preserve and get information that might help you on your hike.
Other hiking trails in Southwest Florida
There are lots of places to hike in southwest Florida. We have done the boardwalk at Ponce de Leon Park which is a lot of fun! There are also a few beach hiking trails such as Stump Pass Beach park in Englewood.
Other animals to add to the scavenger hunt
There are so many neat animals and wildlife to see on hikes in southwest Florida. But I didn’t have enough room to add all of them to this printable list. So instead, here is a list of things to look for in addition to what is on the scavenger hunt. You can write some of these on the back of your scavenger hunt to make it more challenging. My six year old can read but my four year old can’t, so the visual scavenger hunt paper is perfect for his age.
- Pine trees
- Palm trees
- Bears (oh my!)
Have a fun hike! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the scavenger hunt! Please comment below with your thoughts and if your kids enjoyed it.
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