Yellow Fever Creek Preserve receives enhancements
Yellow Fever Creek Preserve, located in northeast Cape Coral, has undergone some enhancements for public access, including a paved parking entrance and a berm around the 3-acre pond.
In 2001, Lee County’s conservation land acquisition and management program, using funds from Conservation 20/20, acquired the 340-acre preserve located just north of the intersection of Del Prado Boulevard and Kismet Parkway. The preserve features 2.5 miles of marked hiking trails and fresh water fishing, which requires a Florida license.
Portions of the headwaters of Yellow Fever Creek, a narrow channel, which accumulates shallow water during the wet season, can be found at the preserve.
Conservation Lands Manager Cathy Olson said the enhancements were part of their overall land management plan and goals. She said there is an existing borrow pit, an old pit used to fill a road back in the day, located on the site that was not friendly for wildlife.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission supported the restoration with funding. Olson said engineers and ecologist became involved as well to improve the borrow pit, which is now better for wildlife.
The hydrologic restoration was completed in 2018. The banks of the pond were improved to allow aquatic plants, which will enhance the water quality.
Another enhancement includes an asphalt parking area, so visitors no longer have to park in the dirt.
“We have an overlook on the top of the bank where people can fish from,” Olson said.
Visitors can also enjoy the hiking trails through pine flatwoods. Dogs are not allowed.
“It is quite a beautiful walk. The area is on a prescribed burn rotation. The health of the ecosystem is quite good. It’s a beautiful place to hike,” she said, especially now with all the spring wildflowers.
The preserve also attracts a great deal of wildlife, such as hawks, Florida sandhill crane and gopher tortoises.
Olson said the hiking trails have been there for quite a while.
“Eventually when the city has the opportunity to develop Major Park, it will tie into Yellow Fever Creek. We didn’t want to wait for it to develop,” she said.
The trail map can be found at www.conservation2020.org. Parking and entrance is free and the preserve is open daily during daylight hours.