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

Annual appeal to fund pole barn for Fakahatchee

This is one of the many vehicles to be stored in the pole barn.

December 1, 2017
We are proposing an annual appeal project to build a 70 x 96ft. open-sided pole barn. This will provide protected storage for Fakahatchee equipment and vehicles, including the FOF pick-up truck, program tram, an ATC, 2 UTVs, a wood chipper, road graders, tractors, grass cutters and some very large trailers.. . . Read More

FOF Finds Support to Enhance Visitors' Fakahatchee Experience

Proposed Fakahatchee Cracker Pavilion is funded.

November 28, 2017
Although we feared that damage to the State Park System by a major hurricane might suck up funds for the Boardwalk Expansion Project, I’m happy to report that this is still full steam ahead. We have enough long-life synthetic wood planking to resurface the entire length of the existing Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. A generous grant will fund kiosks, boards, and a visitor map.. . . Read More

Friends of Fakahatchee Welcome Back Lunch Dec 16

Nick Ewy, Associate Director of Horticulture at Naples Botanical Garden, will be the featured speaker at the FOF welcome back luncheon.

November 27, 2017
Join us for lunch as the Friends of Fakahatchee host their annual "welcome back" gathering Saturday, Dec. 16 at noon in Kapnick Hall at Naples Botanical Garden. “We’re excited about meeting in such a beautiful location that gives attendees a chance to tour the gardens after our lunch,” said Patrick Higgins, Friends of Fakahatchee president. “We hope the new time will encourage our members and the public to participate as we kick off our new. . . 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.


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!