MATANZAS PASS PRESERVE ../images/detail_photos/matanzas-pass.jpgMATANZAS PASS PRESERVE Address 199 Bay Road Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 Google Map/Directions Contact Information Paul Yaccobelli 239-229-1610 firstname.lastname@example.org Facility Staff Events Events Calendar Hours 7 a.m. to dusk seven days a week. **Pets are not allowed** The Cottage features a museum and gift shop, as well as additional preserve information. Cottage Hours: Wed. & Sat. 10 a.m. to noon Closures Information *Free guided walks offered at Lee County beaches and preserves • Life in the Mangroves: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursdays, through March 29th, except for holidays. This educational walk through Matanzas Pass Preserve will provide you with opportunities to discover the diverse plant and animal communities in this maritime oak hammock, transitional wetland and mangrove forest ecosystem. Walks will be led by a Florida Master Naturalist.• Exploring Ethnobotany: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, through April 4th, except for holidays. Learn the historical importance of Florida native plants as food, shelter, medicine and clothing to humans, past and present. Discover how these indigenous plants have been used by the Calusa and early settlers. Walks will be led by a Florida Master Naturalist. 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. Amenities: Gulf beach, toilets, picnic tables, playground, pavilion, grill areas, food concessions, fishing pier, canoe/kayak launch, bike racks, parking lot.View the Matanzas Pass Preserve brochure.Matanzas Pass Preserve is a designated Great Florida Birding Trail site. For more information, maps and guides please visit the Great Florida Birding Trail. Notice: A Saltwater Fishing License is required to saltwater fish from shore. There is no fee for Florida residents. History 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. View the Land Stewardship (Management) Plan for the Park. The Friends of Matanzas Pass has since been formed to help protect and preserve the natural habitat of this unique natural environment on Fort Myers Beach.