Although we spent most of our time in Fort Myers staying at our fabulous RV resort we did make time to go on a couple of hikes. One was a nice hike I would rate four stars and the other one was pleasant but not more than a two star hike..
Although I rated the Prairie Pines Preserve Trail a two star hike it was still good and worth taking the trail for a change of scenery. The boardwalk loop trail we picked was very short but took us though a nice representative stand of habitats typical in this part of Florida. The preserve has about 20 miles of trails but most were closed due to Hurricane Irma damage so we might have missed some of the better trails.
The other hike I rated higher was at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. It had just recently re-opened after having been closed to clean up damage from the hurricane. It has a wonderful loop trail which is mostly on a boardwalk that meanders through a beautiful young swamp. The boardwalk trail is less than 1.3 miles but requires one to walk very slowly to take in all that there is to see and experience. Volunteers are seen throughout the park answering visitor questions and pointing out wildlife.
There was a parking fee of $1 per hour at this preserve but definitively worth the small price to pay to enjoy this saved piece of Florida wilderness. Even in late fall there was much to see. Turtles and snails were everywhere as we approached each of the small lakes within the preserve. We saw American Alligators resting on one the two ramps made by park staff. At first I was put off by these unnatural ramps but then got to thinking that they were probably great lounging places for the alligators since so many people traipse through the park.
Water snakes were hidden in the swampland below the boardwalk and wading birds were milling around in search of a nice tidbit to eat. Small birds were flitting around and hawks were trolling the area as well. However the best sighting of all was spotting three young wild pigs barging through the thick swampy underbrush while pushing their snouts deep into the soil in search of a morsel. We watched the three little pigs mill around and feed to their hearts content. Standing quietly on the boardwalk we were within 10 to 20 feet of them most of the time, What fun that was…
NOTE: We are now in our winter home for the next several months in Bonita Springs Florida at Imperial Bonita Estates RV park and Coop.