|SIX MILE CYPRESS SLOUGH PRESERVE|
|Address||Contact Information||Other Information|
7791 Penzance Blvd. (Mailing Address)
Fort Myers, FL
7751 Penzance Blvd. (for Navigation)
Friends of Six Mile Cypress Slough
Free Guided Walks
Regional Parks Map
Tour de Parks route
Park Overview Map (1024 X 768)
Service Animal Policy
|Google Map/Directions||Staff allocated to facility's budget||Events Calendar|
Boardwalk Hours: Dawn to Dusk every day, year round.
Interpretive Center Hours: Tues-Sun, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Mondays.
The following are prohibited in the preserve: alcohol, pets, fishing, bicycles, skateboards or rollerblades and the collection of ANY natural or cultural resources. This includes (but is not limited to) any plants, animals, shells or artifacts. Bike path is located along Six Mile Cypress Parkway.
Please respect the space and quiet observation needs of individual visitors by LIMITING CELL PHONE USE on trail to emergencies only.
Guided Walk Schedule: May-October: Wed only @ 9:30 a.m. April, November and December: Daily @ 9:30 a.m. January-March: Daily @ 9:30 a.m. AND 1:30 p.m. Guided Walks are limited to the first 20 people who show up (no groups of 6 or more). Private group tours are available for $3 per person. Contact Andee Naccarato by phone at 239-533-7555 or through email at ANaccarato@LeeGov.com.
Parking fee: $1 per hour per vehicle, maximum $5 for the day. Admittance to Boardwalk trail and Interpretive Center is included in the parking fee.
Lee County Annual Parking Stickers are accepted at this location.
The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is over 3,400 acres of a wetland ecosystem. A myriad of animals like otters, alligators, turtles, wading birds, and more live at the Slough (pronounced "slew") year round. Others, like migrating birds and butterflies use the Slough as a feeding area or a winter home.
View our Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve Photo Gallery here.
In 1976 a group of Lee County students studying the role of forested wetland in Florida's ecology became alarmed at how fast these environmental treasures were disappearing to private interests. The students, known simply as "the Monday Group", envisioned a place where visitors could stroll amongst majestic cypress trees and catch the whisper of Florida's primordial past. They sought an oasis where guests could observe the vast array of plants and animals that can live in a place which is sometimes land, sometimes water, sometimes both. In such pristine surroundings they hoped that people could begin to learn how wetlands provide priceless, but often hidden benefits such as water purification and storage, natural flood control and wildlife habitat.
Knowing that Six-Mile Cypress Slough was under imminent threat from logging in the channeling away of its water, the Monday Group launched a daring campaign to save it for future generations. Lee County voters responded overwhelmingly by increasing their own taxes to purchase and convert the Slough into a preserve. compiled by Volunteer naturalist, Gayle Schmidt
But worthy causes are not always easily won. Much effort was needed throughout the 1980s to protect the Six-Mile Cypress watershed from the results of outside development (pollutants, draining off of vital water sources). The Lee County Board of Commissioners and South Florida Water Management District found themselves more than once battling to maintain the integrity of the Preserve's water source.
These efforts culminated in 1991 with Lee County Parks and Recreation opening the Preserve's boardwalk and facilities to visitors. Today, Parks and Recreation remain challenged with balancing the needs of water conservation and wildlife management with the recreational needs of the public. As part of that, a growing cadre of volunteer naturalists educate the Preserve's many visitors as to the interrelationships of water, wildlife, plants, and man- fanning the flames of that torch set by Lee County students some two decades earlier.
We invite you to come and experience the uniqueness that is Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Take a step back into the Florida that used to be and glimpse a future replete with possibilities. Complied by volunteer naturalist Gayle Schmidt