A Surprise Boardwalk Delight

About a year ago I purchased a book called “Hiking Southwest Florida”, in hopes I would find hiking trails that had thus far eluded me as I explored South Florida.  Unfortunately, “hiking” South Florida – well Florida in general – is more like a gentle stroll….a FLAT gentle stroll.  (sigh, the Rocky Mountains are calling my name!)

I’ve been slowly visiting the different walking, ahem, hiking paths suggested by the book, and last week I visited Six Mile Cypress Slough (rhymes with through).  I didn’t have high expectations for the place (it is a 1.2 mile boardwalk through native Florida scrub, and I’ve seen Florida flora before).  I was SO surprised how much I loved this place!  It is amazingly beautiful.

You pay a small fee to park (I paid $5 for the day, but you can get away with as little as $1 per hour).  No fee to walk the boardwalk or to visit the nature center.

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An elevated boardwalk takes you through the entire space, which means it’s a place which can be visited during the hot, humid, WET summer months.   The board walk starts through a man made patch of bald cypress, which was in its “bald” state, and eerily beautiful.

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The board walk continues on to wind its way through native flora found in Florida.

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In between the amazing scenery, I was pleasantly surprised to see a great number of animal friends!  This little guy was a baby, only about two to three feet long.

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This guy was a bit bigger, coming in around five to six feet long!

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Plenty of birds and turtles.

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A slick guy working on his tan.

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And in the back pond…..three of these little guys splashed around and amused all the visitors for five minutes!!!

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Because of the wet winter (and a recent rain shower), the base of the park was quite flooded, with a good 24″ of water.  Although unusual for our winters, it provided for amazing reflections of the massive trees above.

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I ended up spending over three hours exploring, taking photos, sitting and enjoying the wind, and feeling the warm sun on my face.  I highly recommend anyone to visit this gem, and I would love to see what surprises it holds in the spring and summer.

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