Friends of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

Friends of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

Friends of Fakahatchee: Dedicated to financial and volunteer support to preserve the unique ecology and cultural heritage of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and educate the public about its importance.


At 85,000 acres, the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve is the largest and least developed of Florida’s State Parks. Explore the real Florida and the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk, Janes Scenic Drive, our numerous hiking trails, or canoe the East River. For a guided experience, get aboard the Ghost Rider, or sign up for a swamp walk. Sign up here!


Fakahatchee Strand is one of the most biologically rich places in the greater Everglades — here visitors will experience a portion of Florida’s remaining subtropical wilderness. It is centered on the world’s largest strand swamp, a geological feature unique to the region. Learn about the Strand’s unique ecology and history.

Slough Survey

You can help preserve this unique wilderness and play an active role in its conservation. When you join the Friends, you support an important mission. Whether you are a trail blazer, administrator, handyman, driver, citizen scientist, volunteer coordinator or potential donor, you have a part to play. You can help.


Follow our latest news, be alerted to wildlife sightings, learn about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, and have access to interesting articles on conservation projects and the Park’s ecology by subscribing to our free electronic-newsletter, the Ghost-writer, and following us online on Facebook.

In the News

New boardwalk tours start in December

PH on Boardwalk photo Tom Maish (2) 3
November 16, 2015
A new naturalist-led tour of the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is a the newest Friends of Fakahatchee adventure.   The new tour uses high-tech two way headsets to help tour participants get the most out of their small group tour of the Fakahatchee’s Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. The tour of the National Natural Landmark site on the Tamiami . . . Read More

Public Radio features Fak's orchid restoration project

Mike_Dennis_Cigar_Orchid 2
November 11, 2015
A National Public Radio broadcast November 11 featured comments by Mike Owen, left, and Dennis Giardina, right.  The two were interviewed by reporter Greg Allen about the park's efforts to restore "lost orchids" by working with biologists in Cuba and Atlanta.  To hear the broadcast and read a transcript, use the link below. Go to NPR . . . Read More

Dec. 13 Friends of Fakahatchee dinner features author and educator Cesar Becerra

November 4, 2015
The Friends of Fakahatchee “Welcome Back” dinner Sunday,  Dec. 13 at the Everglades Adventure Center in Everglades City will feature author and environmental educator Cesar Becerra.  He is the author of a dozen books, including "Giants of the Swamp: The Logging History of the Everglades and Big Cypress.”  He will discuss the felling of the giant . . . Read More

More news from the strand >>

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The Friends of Fakahatchee want you to share our excitement about the Fakahatchee, join our community, and catch the “FAK-A-HABIT.” If you come to this 85,000 acre wilderness, you will find the lush plant and animal life of the real Florida that you may have thought vanished. Join us.

Hydrologically linked to the Everglades system and particularly important to the estuarine ecosystem of the Ten Thousand Islands, the Fakahatchee is crucial habitat to many threatened species including the Florida panther, Florida black bear, American crocodile, wood stork, mangrove fox squirrel and the Everglades mink. It is also home to 47 native orchids (including the elusive Ghost orchid), 38 native ferns, 14 native bromeliads and is recognized as the orchid capital of of the United States, as well as the best example of a subtropical, strand swamp in North America.

But it’s more than a swamp. It’s a mosaic of cypress forest, wet prairies, tropical hardwood hammocks, salt marsh, mangroves, sloughs and majestic royal palms.

My husband and I took the Swamp Walk yesterday and had a GREAT time. We are already thinking of returning to this magical place! Kudos to the Friends of Fakahatchee.

Whether you walk the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk through one of Florida’s last remaining stands of virgin old-growth cypress, reserve a spot on our tram ride, join us for a swamp walk, become a member or donate, you will be helping to preserve a truly special natural and cultural landscape featuring the largest population of native royal palms in the United States.


The beauty of Fakahatchee Strand is best enjoyed by getting off the beaten path with one of our expert naturalist guides. It is a world of water, deep shade and blazing sun. In other words, it is subtropical Florida at its best and most unique. Welcome to Fakahatchee Strand — the Orchid Swamp!