|MATANZAS PASS PRESERVE|
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199 Bay Road
Fort Myers Beach, FL
Free Guided Walks
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Matanzas Pass Preserve is open from 7 a.m. to dusk, seven days a week.
The Cottage features a museum and gift shop, as well as additional preserve information. Cottage Hours: Wed. & Sat. 10 a.m. to noon
Please Note: Parking is limited.
Matanzas Pass Preserve is nearly 60-acres of unspoiled sanctuary located one mile south of Matanzas Pass Bridge just off Estero Blvd. on Estero Island, within the Town of Ft. Myers Beach. The main entrance is on Bay Road located behind Beach Elementary School just beyond the Estero Island Historic Cottages. The Preserve offers 1.25 miles of trails that wind through the canopies of mangroves and an oak hammock. Follow along with the interpretive stations during your trail. Take the time to rest under the pavilion as you take in a view of the Estero Bay. Watch for the plentiful wildlife and native plants as you enjoy an afternoon hiking in the Preserve. There is also a paddle craft landing that is part of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail so you can also paddle in and enjoy the preserve.
Notice: A SALTWATER FISHING LICENSE IS STILL REQUIRED FOR FLORIDA RESIDENTS WHO SALTWATER FISH FROM SHORE. HOWEVER THERE IS NO FEE FOR RESIDENTS.
|The Matanzas Pass (Wilderness) Preserve was dedicated on January 20, 1979 as a sanctuary for native plants and animals and as a learning resource for the Lee County Community. Matanzas, which contains one of the last maritime oak hammocks in the area, was one of the first four-wetland eco-systems to be found in Lee County. In 1974, Fort Myers Beach resident and nature photographer John Dunning, purchased the property from the Martha Redd estate and then donated 22-acres to The Nature Conservancy and offered to sell them the remaining acres. In 1994, the property was donated to Lee County by The Nature Conservancy at which time the word Wilderness was removed from the name of the Preserve. The Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve has since been formed to help protect and preserve the natural habitat of this unique natural environment on Fort Myers Beach.|