Matanzas Pass Preserve offers free island guided nature walks. Two free guided walks led by trained volunteer naturalist guides, titled “Life in the Mangroves,” and “Exploring Ethnobotany,” are offered: the former every Thursday through March from 9:30-11 a.m., and the latter every fourth Wednesday of the month at the same time through March.
The “Life in the Mangroves” guided walk is an educational walk through Matanzas Pass Preserve and provides opportunities to discover the diverse plant and animal communities in this maritime oak hammock, transitional wetland and mangrove forest ecosystem. The second walk, entitled “Exploring Ethnobotany,” provides you with a chance to learn the historical importance of Florida native plants as food, shelter, medicine and clothing to humans, and how these indigenous plants were used by the Calusa and early settlers, and how they are used now.
Matanzas Pass Preserve has nearly 60 acres of unspoiled sanctuary and 1.25 miles of trails that wind through the canopies of mangroves and an oak hammock, with stops along the way for you to enjoy this beautiful ecosystem. Watch for various species of wildlife! There is also a pavilion to take in a view of the Estero Bay. The Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve protects and preserves the natural habitat of this unique natural environment on Fort Myers Beach. While admission and parking are both free, parking is limited. Located at 199 Bay Road in Fort Myers Beach, it is 1 mile south of Matanzas Pass Bridge off Estero Blvd. on Estero Island. You can also paddle boat in and enjoy the preserve via Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail.