Powell Creek Preserve Fort Myers Florida
Have you ever heard of a filter marsh? Over the winter of 2015 I picked up on the Conservation 2020 guided walk series and caught a guided walk at Powell Creek Preserve one early Saturday morning. Powell Creek Preserve is a filter marsh located in North Fort Myers. Like many of the Conservation 2020 parks it’s fairly incognito but once you get on site there is plenty to see and experience.
Besides providing a great wildlife habitat, this filter marsh was created to improve water quality in the creek and downstream bodies of water. As water collects in the filter marsh it slowly travels through a series of wetland ponds which filter the sediment and excess nutrients, toxins and heavy metals along the way. In short, the water is scrubbed in a man-made natural filter built into Powell Creek before it goes downstream into the Caloosahatchee river and out to the gulf.
The filter marsh is only a few years old and already thriving and bustling with nature. The small lakes at Powell are circled by a berm of soil with a sturdy shell base on top. It makes for a wide trail with a firm base so this preserve is suitable for wheels, be it stroller or a mobility scooter. It’s also not more than a mile in circumference so if you take kids they won’t get bored. I’d say that it’s a great beginner hike for the littles.
My first thought after I walked the route was that it would also be a great place to visit to walk or run for measured exercise. It’s almost like a fitness track but with more nature. It’s lined with a variety of trees and wildflowers plus the water plays host to a variety of ducks, wading birds and, one of my favorite little water birds, the coot.
Along the trail you’ll stand a shot at spotting a gopher tortoise or two toward the back. There are several tortoise dens sprinkled through the patches of netted pawpaw.
Parks in North Fort Myers usually offer up different plants and insects than the parks in South Lee County. Two great sightings on this trip there were red winged black birds and a magnificent zebra swallowtail butterfly. Both were not only photogenic but cooperated for a moment or two so I could get a shot with the camera.
If you go, remember that you’ll be driving down Bayshore Road so that means you’ll also be in the area of Ozzie and Harriet stars of the Southwest Florida eagle cam. You can also stop by there and watch the eagles soar, up close and personal. You can even park and join the gallery of photographers on the fence line.
Powell Creek Preserve is located off of Hart Road but I will warn you the Google maps wasn’t exactly accurate so you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for the park sign and parking lot on your left. The street address is 15601 Hart Rd, North Fort Myers, Florida 33917. You can learn more about Powell Creek Preserve and other Conservation 2020 parks at www.conservation2020.org.
Happy Trails and Boardwalks!
Special to Southwest Spotlight Magazine
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