Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

From the comfort of elevated boardwalks, walk among the turtles, otters, alligators and other creatures that call this wetlands home.

When you’re in the hustle and bustle of downtown Fort Myers, it is easy to forget that a tranquil place like Six Mile Cypress Slough is just 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) away. Visit this wetland, which is home to dozens of plants and animals.

Six Mile Cypress Slough contains over 3,400 acres (1,376 hectares) of protected land. It is an important wildlife corridor that provides animals with a safe passage. Look for the homes of creatures ranging from turtles to alligators to otters. It is also a popular stop-off point for migrating birds.

Explore the area from the safety and comfort of the elevated boardwalks. Fully accessible, these paths snake along the slough. Enjoy a view of the entire area from any of the five observation decks.

The slough is a natural drainage site that collects runoff water from the surrounding watershed. If you visit during the wet season, between June and October, expect several feet of water that turn the slough into a wide river.

When you work up an appetite, stop by the picnic area. This shaded area, scattered with several tables, is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic outdoors.

Depending on the day, stop by the amphitheater for a wildlife presentation, a great opportunity to learn about the ecosystem surrounding you.

Select from a variety of tours available at the slough. Several guided tours occur each day. The popular Boardwalk Wet Walks allow visitors to step off the boardwalks and into the water. If you want to explore the area independently, take a self-guided tour using brochures from the Visitors’ Center.

After your tour outside, head to the Interpretive Center.A series of interactive displays educate visitors about the slough. Purchase a souvenir from the small gift shop to remember your trip.

The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is open every day year-round during daylight hours. There is no entry fee, but expect to pay a small amount for parking. From downtown Fort Myers,you can reach it by car in just fifteen minutes.