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

Festive groundbreaking ceremony kicks off Boardwalk Expansion Project

January 5, 2019
The fans of the Fakahatchee came together the morning of Dec 7 for a festive groundbreaking ceremony at the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. Before the program, members of the Friends of Fakahatchee mingled with Fakahatchee park staff, representatives from other nature groups, tourism and local political officials and returned snowbird friends. The formal program was a testament to the coalition of state and local officials and dedicated FOF volunteers that was necessary to keep the. . . Read More

FOF 20th anniversary luncheon celebration looks back at history and ahead to bright future

Eric Draper and Patrick Higgins present Jane Parks with the 2018 Mel Finn Award.

January 4, 2019
The Friends of Fakahatchee celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Everglades Adventure Center in Everglades City December 7. Among our many honored guests were most of FOF's past Presidents, along with Greg Toppin, the first Park Manager to work with the Friends. FOF Historian Franklin Adams shared Fakahatchee memories, and Jane Parks received the Mel Finn Award for 2018.. . . Read More

FOF now Master Concessionaire

The new concession program will add to the tours available.

September 11, 2018
It’s been 2 years in the making, but FOF is now Master Concessionaire for the Fakahatchee! The purpose of concession operations is to provide visitor services that a park would other otherwise be unable to offer, thereby enhancing the visitor experience and fulfilling fundamental visitor needs. At the August 28 launch meeting, commercial operators were invited to enter into Independent Subcontractor Agreements with FOF that include activity and location-specific operating permits.. . . 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!