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
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.
Department of Environmental Protection
Near Everglades city. Ranger station is south of Interstate
75, on Florida Highway 29.
Florida Wildlife Sites