Spirit-of-the-Wild Wildlife Management Area

Spirit-of-the-Wild Wildlife Management Area is located south of the Caloosahatchee River and about 40 miles northeast of Fort Myers. Its 7,487 acres are a part of a growing mosaic of conservation lands undergoing long term, state-of-the-art restoration to benefit the Florida panther, Florida black bear and other protected species. The waters in marshy Canoe Slough, flow north through the site to the Caloosahatchee River. The natural communities at Spirit-of-the-Wild also help buffer the extensive wetlands on the adjoining 34,722-acre Okaloacoochee Slough, an important source of water for the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve and the Big Cypress National Preserve to the south.

photo of spirit of the wild
Karla Brandt

Over a century of flood control, agriculture and cattle ranching activities have altered water flow and the plant and animal communities in this region, yet the pine flatwoods, pastures and wetlands at Spirit-of-the-Wild continue to attract a variety of wildlife. The area is open year round for wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and seasonal hunts. Visitors can travel on a circuit of unpaved roads and catch glimpses of wading birds, wild turkey, white-tailed deer and feral hog.

 




FWC Facts:
Within 24 hours of hatching, young whooping cranes can follow their parents away from the nest. Together, they forage for plants, insects, snakes, frogs and small animals.

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