We decided to take the family to the Six Mile Cypress Preserve for a morning of fun and adventure. It was a beautiful sunny day for the visit. We spent just over an hour or so enjoying the boardwalk and the surrounding nature.
The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is over 3,500 acres of wetland ecosystem with a Boardwalk trail and Interpretive Center. The cypress slough catches and slowly filters rainwater on its way towards Estero Bay. A myriad of animals like otters, alligators, turtles, wading birds, and more live at the Slough year-round. Others, like migrating birds and butterflies, use the Slough as a feeding area or a winter home. The Friends of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is a not-for-profit advocacy and support organization committed to preserving, protecting and promoting Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve for future generations.
The entire length of the trail is about 1.2 miles. There is a fee for one hour parking however we bought the day pass for $5 for the entire family. After parking, we picked up a boardwalk guide for the kids before entering. They have a ton of fun activities to keep them busy, It comes with tips and tricks for finding wildlife, activities by age, and a scavenger hunt.
Our first stop was the Gator Lake where we got to see an alligator swim out of the water to bask in the sun on a floating dock. The kids really enjoyed that! They were a little worried about the birds close by on the floating raft but the birds were watching every move the alligator made.
The one thing I forgot to bring was binoculars. I highly suggest you bring a pair. We also got to see schools of fish from minnows to larger fish such as large mouth bass and tilapia swimming around and even some turtles.
Our next stop was the Wood Duck Pond. We didn't get to see many ducks this time so I hope with future visits that we do. They say the wood ducks are very shy birds and you have to be very very quiet and observant to see them. Hopefully we will see them next time. We saw another alligator on a log basking in the sun and numerous fish swimming back and forth.
The next stop was the Otter Pond. Our children got to see one swimming in the pond playfully however by the time the rest of us arrived, it was gone. We did get to see one at the Pop Ash Pond which was the last stop of the journey.
Along the trail, they have several little "Who was here" signs with descriptions of wildlife that lives in the area. The kids really enjoyed trying to guess who it was. Can you guess?
Overall we had a great time. We enjoyed the outdoors and the beauty of nature. I highly recommend this boardwalk for the whole family to enjoy a day outside in the fresh air. They are open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is FREE and parking is only $1/hour or $5/ day. Find out more about the preserve and get directions by visiting HERE