Matanzas Pass Preserve

199 Bay Rd., Fort Myers Beach, 33931
(239) 229-1610
Daily, 7:00am to dusk


This site encompasses not only the last remaining stand of maritime tropical hammock on Estero Island, but also supports all 3 species of mangrove (black, white and red) in close proximity, which is highly unusual. Boardwalk trails through this preserve lead through the mangroves (watch for Palm Warblers and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers) to an overlook at Estero Bay. Low tide here brings great views of wading birds including Reddish Egrets and White Ibises, as well as shorebirds (Spotted Sandpiper!) on the mudflats. Continue on the trails and pass through uplands and a small, restored palm savannah where sparrows and kestrels congregate. This site is an often-overlooked jewel.

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