When our guests come out to Babcock Ranch for a guided eco-tour, our guides will narrate the tour by giving you more information about the wildlife you see and the history of the area around you. If you live in the Southwest Florida area, you may have heard a little bit about how the Babcock Ranch Preserve came to be what it is today, but many people are not aware of the special history this place holds.

If you want to know more about the history of Babcock Ranch, keep reading!

The Crescent B Ranch

Babcock Ranch was purchased by the state of Florida in 2006, but prior to that purchase, it was part of the 91,000-acre Crescent B Ranch. The land was originally purchased by the Perry McAdow family in the late 1800s and the Crescent B Ranch was started. It was then purchased in 1914 by Edward Babcock, a Pittsburg lumber magnate and politician, who gave it the name “Babcock Ranch” we still have today. The Ranch served as the base for the family’s business and produced timber, cattle, row crops, and sod, and provided recreation like hunting and ecotourism.

The Babcock Ranch Preserve

Edward Babcock’s son Fred Babcock managed the property for several years. After his death, the heirs attempted to sell the land to the state. This ultimately led to the purchase of land by Kitson & Partners to develop a new solar-powered town called Babcock Ranch, and the remaining 80% of the ranch lands being purchased by the state of Florida and Lee County. With 73,000 acres of environmentally valuable land being preserved, it was a historic purchase.

The preserve protects important water resources, diverse natural habitats, scenic landscapes, and historic and cultural resources. With growing development in Southwest Florida. It is home to diverse ecosystems including wet and mesic pine Flatwoods, dry prairie ecosystems, and cypress swamps. There is a wide range of wildlife that lives in the preserve including alligators, wild turkey, wild hogs, deer, and several species of birds.

Babcock Ranch Today

Today, Tarpon Blue Land & Resource Management continues to manage the preserve for the state. It remains an important part of Southwest Florida nature to preserve the natural ecosystems and wildlife, as well as help maintain the health of the western Everglades ecosystem. The preserve is open to public recreation through hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing, bicycling, fishing, and camping.

The Babcock Ranch Eco Tour is the best way to learn more about one of the most historic spots in Southwest Florida and get up close and personal with the preserved wildlife of old Florida. The swamp buggy eco-tour takes you on a 90-minute guided tour through the working cattle ranch and Babcock Ranch’s diverse ecosystems. Our expert guides will give you more details on the history and wildlife as you immerse yourself in the heart of Florida in this unique wildlife experience.

We offer tours 7 days a week from 9 AM to 3 PM. Reservations are highly recommended during the season. Click here to book your tour of Babcock Ranch today!