News of the Strand

News from the Fakahatchee

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.

Swamp Walks in the Fakahatchee

Excerpt of article by Susan Cocking
The Miami Herald – December 31, 2012

Naturalist Glen Stacell, center with cap, leads another group of swamp walkers out of the water and on to Janes Scenic Drive for the tram ride back to park headquarters.

Naturalist Glen Stacell, center with cap, leads another group of swamp walkers out of the water and on to Janes Scenic Drive for the tram ride back to park headquarters.

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park: If you have read Susan Orlean’s book, “The Ghost Orchid,” or watched the movie, “Adaptation,” based on the book, then you will want to join this wet hike into the region dubbed the “Amazon of North America.” Members of the park’s non-profit booster group Friends of Fakahatchee will lead you into a cool wetland shaded by royal palm and bald cypress that holds more native orchid and bromeliad species than anywhere in the U.S. You probably will see a gator or two, and if you are lucky, maybe a black bear or otter.

For more information see our Events Calendar.

Day Hiking in the Fakahatchee

Excerpt of article by Susan Cocking
The Miami Herald – November 14, 2012

From open prairie to shaded wetland, natural beauty abounds at Fakahatchee.

From open prairie to shaded wetland, natural beauty abounds at Fakahatchee.

The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park: Florida’s largest (but maybe least-known) state park offers numerous day hiking opportunities, ranging from a 2,000- foot boardwalk to hip-deep swamp slogs. The breadth of flora and fauna you might encounter is almost incalculable: not only is the 75,000-acre Fakahatchee the orchid and bromeliad capital of the world; it is also home to black bear and some rare wildlife species, including the Everglades mink and Eastern indigo snake.

Less adventurous hikers can see gators, a bald eagle nest and numerous kinds of birds from the safety of the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk on the north side of U.S. 41 seven miles west of S.R. 29. But heading out on your own off the Janes Memorial Scenic Drive off S.R. 29 near Copeland is a lot more exciting. That’s where you are most likely to see up close some 44 species of native orchids (plus a few exotics that landed here from Africa) and 14 native bromeliads. Follow numerous tramways intersecting the Janes that stay high and dry all year long, or wade out into the swamp shaded by a canopy of bald cypress and royal palm. Hikers have reported spotting bear, otter, deer and gators in a single day trip.