Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Nature Reserve in Fort Myers

With more than 3500 acres of wetlands, this park is a great place to experience southwest Florida's flora and fauna. A 1.2-mile boardwalk trail is staffed by volunteers who help explain the epiphytes, cypress knees, migrating birds and nesting alligators you'll find. Wildlife-watchers should target the winter dry season.

The wet summer season is also dramatic of course: at its peak, the entire slough becomes a forested stream up to 3ft deep. The nature center (open from 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday) has excellent displays and offers free guided walks at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

From Fort Myers, go south on Cleveland Ave/US 41, east on Colonial Blvd/Hwy 884, then south for 3 miles on Ortiz Ave (which becomes Six Mile Cypress Pkwy).

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