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

New Maps for Fakahatchee Explorers

New trail map makes the path clearer for exploration.

June 15, 2018
New maps provide a clearer path to exploration. . New maps of the Park's Hiking Trails and East River Paddling Trail are now available for download. The new maps, in conjunction with information kiosks to be installed this summer, will encourage visitors to safely explore the wonders of our park. Look for the kiosks – funded in part through the Tourist Development Council Wayfinding Project – at the Visitor Center on Janes Scenic Drive, the East. . . Read More

Canadian couple sights panther

This relaxed panther was sighted near gate 7 late in February.

 
March 1, 2018
This relaxed panther was sighted near gate 7 late in February. Editor’s note: Lee Gerig and Carole Jodouin of Ottawa, Canada provided the Friends of Fakahatchee with a photo and report of their recent panther sighting in the Fakahatchee. “On Saturday 24 Feb 2018, my wife and I decided to walk one of the trails in the Fakahatchee.  Our initial plan was to walk from gate 12 to the “Fakahatchee Hilton” as we have done. . . Read More

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

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!