Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

Description:
The Fakahatchee Strand is part of the main drainage slough of the Big Cypress Swamp. To the south lies the estuarine wilderness of the Ten Thousand islands, which depends on the influx of fresh water from the slough. Here is North America's largest stand of native royal palms and the only cypress/royal palm forest. The strand is famous for its variety of orchids, as well as its rare ferns and bromeliads. There are swamp lakes, marl prairies, hammocks, and cypress domes throughout the preserve. In the southern part of the preserve are mangrove swamps, tidal creeks, and bays. There is one long boardwalk at Big Cypress Bend, as  well as several trails on old logging tram roads. Janes Scenic Drive provides an excellent trip into the interior of the strand.

Watchable wildlife:
River otters, white-tailed deer, alligators, basking turtles, and an occasional bobcat can be seen by quiet, observant visitors. Florida panther, Florida black bear, Everglades mink, and wood storks are among the rare wildlife that inhabits the strand. Roseate spoonbills, white and glossy ibis, herons, and egrets roost and feed in the strand. Barred owls and red-shouldered hawks are both heard and observed regularly, as well as pileated and red-bellied woodpeckers. A pair of bald eagles nests near the Cypress Bend boardwalk in the spring.

Ownership:
Department of Environmental Protection

Contact:
(941) 695-4593

Directions:
Near Everglades city.  Ranger station is south of Interstate 75, on Florida Highway 29.

Related Sites:
Other Southwest Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks



FWC Facts:
Over 200 species of birds migrate between their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada and their wintering areas in Mexico, Central and South America or the Caribbean.

Learn More at AskFWC