Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, also known as “Eco Park,” is a sprawling 365-acre natural area located in Cape Coral, Florida. This stunning preserve is the second largest green space in the city and features a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax, Four Mile Cove is the perfect destination.
One of the main attractions at Four Mile Cove is the walking trail that winds its way through the preserve. This trail is approximately one mile in length and is open to visitors of all ages. The trail is elevated on a boardwalk and offers stunning views of the surrounding wetlands. Visitors can spot a variety of wildlife in the area, including eagles, ibis, herons, raccoons, and snakes.
Another highlight of Four Mile Cove is the seasonal kayak rentals. Visitors can rent a kayak and explore the park’s waterways. However, due to the difficulty of the trail and an 800-foot portage, this activity is not recommended for beginners or children under six years old. Visitors can also visit the visitor center for information on local wildlife, trail guides, and upcoming programs. The visitor center is also where you will find the “last chance to use the facilities.”
On the south side of the parking lot is the Veterans Memorial Area, which features several memorials designed to recognize and honor those who have served our country through the U.S. armed services. This area is a peaceful place for reflection and offers visitors a chance to pay their respects to those who have sacrificed for our country.
The preserve’s history dates back to the early days of Cape Coral’s development. As the city was being built, the state mandated that the Four Mile Cove area be preserved. Now, the property is leased from the state to the city to operate as a preserve. The trail system was funded by grants, and as a condition of these grants, the city must manage the park to benefit the wildlife; thus, human intrusion is kept to a minimum.
It is important to note that Four Mile Cove is a nature preserve, and therefore, certain activities are prohibited. Dogs are not permitted on the trails, and neither is jogging, skateboarding, biking, skating, or rollerblading. The city must manage the park to benefit the wildlife, so it is important that visitors respect the rules and regulations.
The preserve is open year-round, and the walking trails and access to the Veterans Memorial Area are always available. The kayak rental operation is only available on weekends from November through May. The preserve is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and it is an excellent way to explore the natural beauty of Cape Coral.
In conclusion, Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve is a must-visit destination in Cape Coral for anyone interested in nature, history, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its stunning natural beauty, informative exhibits, and peaceful surroundings, Four Mile Cove is a true gem of the city.