Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Four Ways to Experience the Fakahatchee

Naturalist Linda Koreny leads the new Big Cypress Bend boardwalk tour. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Naturalist Linda Koreny leads the new Big Cypress Bend boardwalk tour. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted

This January, you can experience the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve four different ways. Wet or dry, walking or riding, it’s your choice with the Friends of Fakahatchee adventures scheduled throughout the month.

Most visitors to the 85,000-acre park east of Naples find the Ghost Rider Tram Tour the best introduction to Florida’s largest and most remote state park. A naturalist leads each 2 1/2 hour tour and points out interesting aspects of the park. The tour includes a 15 minute walk down an old logging path to see air plants, a variety of ferns, and seasonally blooming orchids. Tours begin at 10 AM on each Thursday in January.

The new Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk tour features high-tech headsets that let participants hear the story of this natural wonder clearly. The 2,300-foot boardwalk, north of the Tamiami trail, is sheltered by bald cypress trees, many of them hundreds of years old. It passes an active eagle nest and ends at an occupied gator pond. The 90-minute tour begins at 9 AM each Thursday in January.

The Fakahatchee Tram Tour and Swamp Walk combines a guided tram tour of the park’s main road with a 90-minute swamp walk. Many participants enjoy the wet portion of the adventure so much that they return for the park’s longer swamp walk. This adventure is offered each Tuesday in January from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Many Florida visitors list the Original Fakahatchee Swamp Walk as one of their most memorable experiences. This adventure takes participants into the strand wading in knee-deep water, surrounded by a profusion of air plants and orchids. This five-hour adventure begins at 9:30 AM, January 14 and January 16.

For complete details and required reservations, please visit www.orchidswamp.org and click on “tours and events.”

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