Audubon Florida News

Florida’s Special Places: Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Lee County

posted on August 22, 2013 in FL Special Places

misty-woods_sixmilecypressThis nomination for Florida’s Special Places is for Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in beautiful Lee County. This essay was submitted by Bob Repenning, a biologist at the Preserve. Enjoy!

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Lee County is an urban oasis where visitors have opportunities to watch otters swim, water moccasins basking in the sun and pileated woodpeckers chipping away at snags.

Just minutes off I-75, the Slough is a frequent stop for many of visitors to the area as well as for a cadre of local regulars and first timers. Birders flock to the Slough for a wide variety of migrant songbirds and resident specialties. The protection of this important area began in 1976 when a group of Lee County students, the “Monday Group,” became alarmed at how fast our environmental treasures were disappearing.

estuaries-Family_sixmilecypressLee County was able to purchase or get management agreements for 1,909 acres but it wasn’t until the Conservation 20/20 program purchased 1,591 acres in the northern section of the Slough that the headwaters of this system were protected. Today, the preserve encompasses 3,500 acres and is a vital cleanser of waters traveling 10 miles through one of the most developed areas of Lee County.

Visitors can easily access the 1.2 mile-long boardwalk to take quick break from life’s rat race or they can spend the whole day at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve – one of Florida’s special places.


  1. This is indeed a special place, my very favorite. Hours or days, any time of year. there is always something different. Right now, butterflies, their chrysalis, caterpillars of zebra longwings and giant swallowtails, the first of the migrating warblers, giant lubbers, just to name a few of the wonderful late summer into fall happenings. The cypress trees are turning brown, the maples red. I could go on and on!

    Comment by Carolyn Babb — August 23, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

  2. I always find that The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is a very peaceful place. It is cool under the trees and palms. The vast areas of ferns make it seem like I have gone back in time. I especially enjoy seeing turtles swimming and usually ibis and egrets feeding, too. The boardwalk makes it easy to look all around without having to watch where I am going.

    Comment by Donna Cressman — August 23, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

  3. The Interpretive Center, volunteer nature guide tours, special events, summer camps and the Friends of the Six Mile Cypress Slough are additional assets . The staff are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. It is my favorite place in Lee County!

    Comment by Deanna Pipher — August 23, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

  4. The Slough truly is one of Lee County’s hidden treasures and so are all the passionate volunteers who advocate for it and share its story with visitors!

    Comment by Nancy MacPhee — August 24, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

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