It may be just minutes from I-75, but the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve feels like a whole different world once inside. Instead of a busy roadway you’ll find miles upon miles of natural beauty here, with plenty to explore within this nearly hidden oasis.
The quiet setting is a place to enjoy and reflect, with benches for wildlife watching and a one-mile long boardwalk for better exploring the unspoiled swampland. You’ll find everything from alligators and turtles to woodpeckers and fish in this protected area.
While some of these animals are found at the preserve year-round, it’s also possible to spot migratory birds only passing through. Covering more than 3,500 acres, you’ll also find everything from oak hammocks to pine flatwoods in the preserve.
While it’s certainly likely you’ll never see everything, part of what you do see is tied to the season in which you visit. The dry season commonly lasts from October through May and the wet season lasts from June through September.
Free to visit, the site does charge a small fee for parking, but you’ll find restrooms and picnic tables, perfect for taking a break while traveling. The Cypress Slough Preserve is open every day of the week from dawn to dusk. The preserve is located at 7751 Penzance Blvd, Fort Myers which is found off Six Mile Cypress Parkway between Daniels Parkway and Colonial Boulevard.
Meanwhile, an interpretive center is also open every day but Monday and major holidays. Admission to the center remains free with parking. Other options for visitors include exploring the native butterfly garden or taking one of the guided walks planned throughout the year.
While the Cypress Slough Preserve is a great place to explore on your own, the site also makes time to host field trips and summer camps. In addition, it’s possible to join in on a guided tour or to enjoy one of the planned special events, with featured speakers commonly highlighting native wildlife, ecosystems and conservation efforts.