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.

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EXPLORE
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!

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STUDY
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.

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SUPPORT
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.

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FOLLOW
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

Outdoor Afros dodge gator in 10 mile hike in Fak

Outdoor Afro hikers check out an orange discovered along the trail.

Outdoor Afro hikers check out an orange discovered along the trail.

October 27, 2016
Gators, panthers, black bears, oh my! On October 15th six Outdoor Afros hiked over 10 miles in Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve as part of a national #UndergroundTrailMode movement. Outdoor Afros is a national organization dedicated to connecting African Americans to outdoor experiences. The pristine swamps of Fakahatchee were perfect for getting in touch with the experience slaves had along the Underground Railroad while braving the wilds of Florida on the way to the freedom of. . . Read More

Annual Fund to Transport Volunteers

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October 26, 2016
Did you know that FOF volunteers help maintain over 50 miles of trails within the Preserve? With your help we will be able to provide a vehicle that volunteers can count on for safe and reliable transportation throughout the Preserve. Please download our annual fund form to accompany your check, or donate on-line.. . . Read More

Five award-winning adventures offered by Friends

Naturalists Patrick Higgins and Glen Stacell display 2016 TripAdvisor certificate of excellence

Naturalists Patrick Higgins and Glen Stacell display 2016 TripAdvisor certificate of excellence

September 18, 2016
The Friends of Fakahatchee have announced their fall 2016 schedule of five adventures to introduce visitors to Florida’s largest state park, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve. TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, has awarded Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and its boardwalk a Certificate of Excellence for two years running.. . . Read More

More news from the strand >>

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Join us.

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.

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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!