Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is one of Lee County’s earliest protected conservation areas. In 1976, Lee County voters approved a ballot initiative to purchase the land to protect the Six Mile Cypress watershed and maintain it as a preserve for wildlife habitat. The initiative was led by a group of Lee County high school students known as the Monday Group, who were studying the critical role of forested wetlands in Florida. The students were concerned that too many of these important environmental areas were disappearing, and so they organized to take action and collect the signatures to qualify the initiative to appear on the ballot.
The size of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve has expanded over time through the acquisition of additional land purchased through the Conservation 20/20 program. Between 1999 and 2009, 372 acres were added to the preserve through the Conservation 20/20 program. Today, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is 2,266 acres. The size of this area is additionally increased with the acquisition of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve North, a 1,219-acre Conservation 20/20 preserve located directly to the north. Together, this area combined is more than 3,500 acres.
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve includes a 1.2-mile boardwalk that is elevated and ADA-accessible, for visitors to explore this wetland ecosystem and observe wildlife. Common wildlife sightings include the American alligator, pileated woodpecker, and green tree frog.
The Interpretive Center includes many educational displays to enhance your experience on the boardwalk and a gift shop operated by the Friends of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Interpretive Center hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information about the amenities at the preserve, click here.
The public amenities are not located on the Conservation 20/20 parcels of this preserve. These amenities are maintained by Lee County Parks & Recreation Department staff.
Guided walks on the boardwalk are offered year-round. Walks are hosted January-March, daily at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm; April, November and December, daily at 9:30 am; and May-October, Wednesdays and the fourth Saturday of the month at 9:30 am.
Bird Watching, Hiking (Boardwalk), Hiking (Marked Trails), Hiking (Unmarked or Fire Lines), Nature Study/Photography, Picnic Area