A Guide to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Ft. Myers Florida

Imagine your family walking through a jungle-like setting in Florida.  Suddenly, someone spots a gator laying in the morning sun!  A few moments later, someone else hears a creature walking through the underbrush and a wild hog appears!  While even further down the path, you see some birds unlike any you’ve ever seen outside your living room window!  Are you in the middle of the latest Disney attraction?  No, your family is taking a journey through nature at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.

gator at six mile cypress slough preserve at gator lake

Gator sighting while hiking…that was a first!

Your Guide to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is over 3,500 acres of wetlands located in Ft. Myers, Florida.  Your family can experience the preserve by walking the 1.2 mile long elevated boardwalk that circles throughout the wetlands.  The preserve also has an interpretive center full of displays that show the animals that make the slough their home, how the slough changes during the year, and what to look for while walking through preserve.

The trail through the six mile cypress slough preserve

This is an easy walk for the whole family.

So, what is a slough?  To start with, it’s pronounced “slew”.  (I know, that’s not how I was saying it either.)  The slough is a narrow wetland that has freshwater slowly flowing throughout.  The level of water depends on the season and the amount of rain that has fallen.  The water in the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve flows to Estero Bay.

cypress trees at six mile cypress slough preserve

Notice the unique base of the cypress trees.

The preserve is free to visitors, but you will have to pay $1-$5 for parking.  It takes around 90 minutes to visit the interpretive center and to walk the 1.2 mile boardwalk.  There are picnic areas available, restrooms, and a small garden that you can walk through.

Interpretive center at six mile cypress slough preserve

Visit the interpretive center before you begin your adventure.

The boardwalk is open from dawn to dusk, every day of the year, and the interpretive center is open on Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Guided walks are available every Wednesday from May-October, and the 4th Saturday of the month.  During January – April, November, and December there are daily tours.  You can find more information about the tours here.  The boardwalk is fully accessible, but double-wide strollers are not recommended because it is narrow.

The boardwalk at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

The boardwalk is my kind of hiking trail!

A walk through the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is a unique and educational way to spend a couple of hours of your Florida vacation.  Be observant on your journey, and you will be surprised by the critters, plants, and sights that you will see.

Gator Lake Six Mile cypress slough preserve

Have your kids guess what they might see at Gator Lake…

Related posts:  Where to Eat in Southwest Florida and Tips for Your First Visit to Hyatt Regency Coconut Point

For navigation to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, enter the address:

7751 Penzance Blvd.

If your family is visiting Southwest Florida, you must spend a few hours at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Ft. Myers. #Florida

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Ft. Myers Florida


  • Maryssa October 3, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Your photos are absolutely STUNNING! And your hotel looks incredible! I’ve always wanted to go to Fort Myers.

    • Vicki October 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks Maryssa – We had a fantastic vacation!

  • Becki Svare February 16, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Great article! We are in the Ft Myers area often, but we have been here. Thanks for sharing!


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