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Celebrate National Trails Day with a free guided tour of Pop Ash Creek Preserve

May 30, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to celebrate National Trails Day with a free guided hike at the Pop Ash Creek Preserve this Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.

A certified master naturalist will lead the 90-minute, 1.5-mile hike at this Conservation 20/20, 300-acre preserve to identify and discuss native plants, wildlife and birds.

Cathy Olson, conservation lands manager, said the area consists of flat pinewoods, wet prairies and some ponds.

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Sandhill cranes at Pop Ash Preserve.
Courtesy Jason Boeckman, Lee County Conservation 2020

"The naturalist will explain the different communities and whatever creatures you happen to encounter and the plants they will see that will hopefully be in bloom," Olson said.

Hiker also will have the opportunity to observe recent land management activities, including the removal and treatment of invasive and non-native plant species. Possible wildlife sightings include alligators, herons and the state-listed threatened Florida sandhill crane.

"We can't order up the wildlife, but you will see birds, which ones we can't predict. You should be able to see several types of woodpeckers," Olson said. "There should be some wildflowers in bloom. It just depends on which way you go."

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Olson said the nature walks during season have more people, but the walks this time of year have also been popular since the weather hasn't yet become too oppressive. She does suggest wearing shoes that can get wet.

No registration is required. Suggested items to bring include water, hat, sunscreen and camera. Wear closed-toed shoes appropriate for hiking, especially since the trail is likely to be wet. The hiking path is at-grade and not ADA-accessible.

The Pop Ash Creek Preserve is at 9451 Nalle Grade Road in North Fort Myers.

For more information, visit or call 204-1125.



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