We found a really beautiful park in Fort Myers that I highly recommend for families to check out. It’s called Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. If you are looking for a chance to see southwest Florida wildlife up close and personal, this is a GREAT location!
About Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is a 3,500 acre wetland in Fort Myers which filters rainwater on its way towards Estero Bay…I learned that on our hike. The preserve has a 1.2 mile boardwalk trail which is so nice because you know you aren’t going to get your shoes muddy or dirty. It’s clean and safe!
This is a fun place to take kids in Fort Myers! It’s also a great educational spot for parents and/or home school groups. My husband is so good about stuff like this. He had a really good eye for birds, snails, and all kinds of different things that he would point out to the kids and get them really excited about.
What to Bring
- 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!
- You can totally wear flip flops but if you want to do the whole 1.2 miles, I suggest closed toed shoes just for the comfort.
- 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!
- Cash. There is a $1 parking fee per hour per vehicle (or $5 for the day).
- 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?
What NOT to Bring
- Do not bring your dog! No pets allowed at this park.
- Do not bring your bike. You are not allowed to ride a bike on the boardwalk…which we found out the hard way because we were totally going to ride bikes. They do have a cute bike rack in the parking lot so you can ride to the park and then park your bike there to walk the trail.
- Do not bring your loud ring tone. People are discouraged from having their phones turned up because you may scare away some of the wildlife that people are trying to see.
Where is 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.
What to see
There are so many neat animals and wildlife to see at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. We had so much fun spotting different things! Here is a list of things to look for (I couldn’t list everything- I am sure there are lots more!)
- Alligators (and BIG ones too!)
- Pine trees
- Palm trees
- Bears (oh my!)
- Lizards (lots of lizards – big and small!)
And TONS more! Here are a few of the hundreds of pictures I took…
This is a really great place to see southwest Florida and it’s wildlife. It’s a great place to take out of town guests, too! The other place that we love going with guests to check out local wildlife is Babcock Ranch. It’s an Eco-tour where you see tons of animals and reptiles.
At Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, there is also an interpretive center with interactive exhibits and volunteers who can answer any questions. And, of course, a gift shop! Be careful- the kids will want to buy stuff!
There are also opportunities each day for FREE guided tours. Yes, free! How awesome is that? January – March they are 7 days a week at 9:30AM and 1:30PM. You are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes prior to sign-up. In April, November, and December the free guided tours are also 7 days a week at 9:30AM. And May-October the free guided tours are every Wednesday and 4th Saturday of the month at 9:30AM.
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve also has special events and programs. Click here for more information about those events.
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