The Matanzas Pass Preserve is located on the seven-mile long barrier island of Estero
in the town of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. The 60 acre preserve runs along Matanzas
Pass and is one of the few undeveloped, protected areas on the island. As such it
offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience Estero Island as it was before
becoming the popular beach resort that it is today.
Four natural plant communities make up the preserve (take a virtual tour of each
community by clicking on it's name): maritime hammock, tidal swamp, Black
Mangrove forest and coastal grassland. The natural plant communities and shady
hammock support a variety of wildlife both on land and in Estero Bay. In each plant
community, there exists a wide variety of native plants. Many of the plants are unique
to the Preserve and include Wild Cotton, Jamaican Caper, Florida Mayten, and Cat
Claw. To view a list of the plants found in the Matanzas Pass Preserve, click here.
There is also a diversity of wildlife including raccoons, rabbits, hawks,owls, turtles,
snakes, herons, fish, and songbirds. All of these may be seen while traversing the 1.25
miles of boardwalks and trails within the 60 acre preserve.
The Matanazas Pass Preserve offers many educational opportunities including guided
walks, tours led by an ethnobotanist, volunteer training, stress detox tours, and the
new children's educational program featuring Earth Ed.
Directions: After accessing Estero Island/Fort Myers Beach via the Sky Bridge,
continue south on Estero Blvd. for approximately 1.1 miles. Turn left on Bay Street at
the the Fort Myers Beach Library. Follow Bay Street to the dead end where the
Preserve parking lot is located adjacent to the Historic Cottage. The entrance to the
Preserve is immediately in front of you. ENJOY!
|Map to Matanzas Pass Preserve
New Matanzas Pass Preserve
Trail Map--Click to enlarge
|Fort Myers Beach
Lee County, Florida
Matanzas Pass aerial view--Click
The Matanzas Pass Preserve
|To protect, enhance, and educate about the Preserve