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.
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.
The board walk continues on to wind its way through native flora found in Florida.
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.
This guy was a bit bigger, coming in around five to six feet long!
Plenty of birds and turtles.
A slick guy working on his tan.
And in the back pond…..three of these little guys splashed around and amused all the visitors for five minutes!!!
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.
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.