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.
Official FOF Tours and EventsRegister Now for Tours and Events
Ghost Rider Tram Tours offer great introduction to Fakahatchee Preserve–“the Amazon of North America”
You don’t have to get your feet wet or drive your car down Janes Scenic Drive to see the wonders of the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.
The ‘Ghost Rider’ tram, named in honor of the famous Ghost Orchid found in the Preserve, allows you look at wildlife and plants without having to watch the road. The 20-passenger tram is wheelchair accessible, and some seats face backwards.
Experienced guides lead the 2 1/2 hour tram tours and point out interesting aspects of the Preserve. The tour takes you past wet prairie where you’ll learn about the underlying geology that shapes the landscape. It stops at a slough/swamp to give you a window into the Preserve’s hydrology. The tour gives visitors the opportunity to take a guided 15-minute walk down an old logging path to see air plants, a variety of ferns, and seasonally blooming orchids.
This is an outdoor event, please dress appropriately for the weather; wear secure, closed toe shoes for brief walks at tram stops.
The Ghost Rider Tram Tour is from 10 AM to 12:30 PM. For more information, tour schedule, and to purchase tickets visit the Eventbrite page for Fakahatchee Tours and Events.
Night is right for the Moonlit Fakahatchee Tram Tours
Moonlit tours sell quickly! Register now.
On a Moonlit Fakahatchee Tram Tour you can view the magnificent Preserve under the illumination of a full moon. The tour starts 2 1/2 hour before the moon rises at the horizon, a late afternoon start offers prime time for photography and spotting some of the mammal residents of the Preserve as well as birds settling in for the evening.
Experienced guides will introduce you to denizens of the night, including fireflies, bats and owls. City-dwellers will be amazed at how their vision changes as their eyes adapt to the light the moon provides. Evenings can be quite cool when the Moonlit Tour is offered please check the weather report and dress appropriately for the night of your tour.
For more information, scheduled tours and to purchase tickets visit the Eventbrite page for Fakahatchee Tours and Events.
Fakahatchee Night Sky Experience
While the Fakahatchee is famous for the flora and fauna seen in the daytime, few visitors get to experience another feature of the park—its dark nighttime sky.
The Preserve’s remote location limits light pollution from manmade sources, making it possible to observe stars, planets and other wonders of the heavens that are not visible elsewhere.
This program offers participants the chance to experience and photograph the nighttime sky in one of the darkest places in southwest Florida. You will not need a telescope or expensive camera to enjoy these sessions—bring them if you have them—but binoculars or cellphones are fine, we are offering dark sky access to experts and amateurs along with folks who just want to gaze the millions of stars.
Photography enthusiasts are advised to plan photography or telescope activities in advance and will have the opportunity to work on their own interests during the session. The use of apps such as Photo Pills or Stellarium, available on the Apple and Android App stores can be very helpful.
Night Sky start time varies, for more information, scheduled session, and to purchase tickets visit the Eventbrite page for Fakahatchee Tours and Events.
Introduction to Swamp Walk with Tram Tour
Our experienced guides share their knowledge and insights about the Fakahatchee’s flora and fauna on both wet and dry portions of the adventure.
This tour begins with an interpretive ride on the Friends’ Ghost Rider Tram to the site of the swamp walk where the guide leads you on a 90 minute swamp walk (approx.). Following the swamp walk participants board the tram for the return trip.
Participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form. Participants should be sure to wear sturdy lace-up shoes (no sandals!) and long pants. Bring a set of dry clothes; you can change in the visitors restrooms for the drive home. Dress appropriately for the weather.
The Introduction to a swamp walk with a tram tour is from 9:30 to 1:30. For more information, scheduled tours, and to purchase tickets visit the Eventbrite page for Fakahatchee Tours and Events.
Naturalist-led Swamp Walk
This swamp walk will immerse you in the beauty and diversity of the Fakahatchee Preserve. For many visitors, a Friends of Fakahatchee Swamp Walk is the highlight of their Florida visit. Led by experienced volunteer Naturalists, participants wade in cool water observing the native wildlife and plants in the heart of the Fakahatchee.
Participants will follow the guide driving their own vehicles six miles into the preserve to the swamp walk location. This long swamp walk is can at times be a strenuous walk. Swamp walkers should wear long pants and lace-up boots or sneakers – no sandals, waders or open-top boots. A hat and long-sleeved shirt are also recommended. Bring water, snacks, there is no lunch break. You can change in dry clothes in the the Park’s restrooms for the drive home.
The Naturalist-led Swamp Walk is from 9:30 to 1:30 PM. For more information, scheduled tours, and to purchase tickets visit the Eventbrite page for the Naturalist-led Swamp Walk.
Biologist Swamp Walk
This swamp walk is led by the Fakahatchee Preserve Biologist, who has conducted more than 500 swamp walks. Participants will follow the biologist in their own vehicles to the swamp walk location six miles into the Preserve. This swamp walk will immerse you in the beauty and diversity of the largest State Park in Florida. The Park Biologist will encourage you to assist him in locating flora and fauna, helping to contribute to the collection of data for ongoing research.
This is a long, strenuous walk into the heart of the Fakahatchee Preserve. Participants wade in cool water up to mid-thighs for half a day observing the native wildlife and plants in the Fakahatchee Strand.
Swamp walkers are required to wear long pants and lace-up boots or sneakers – no sandals, waders or open-top boots. A hat and long-sleeved shirt are also recommended. Bring water, snacks, or lunch. Bring bug repellent if you are sensitive. Put anything you do not want to get wet in zip-lock plastic bags. Bring a set of dry clothes; you can change in the visitors restrooms for the drive home.
The Biologist Swamp Walk from 9:30 to 1:30 PM is $120 per person. For more information, to see available dates, and to purchase tickets visit the Eventbrite page for Fakahatchee Tours and Events.
Friends of Fakahatchee Private Tours
A Friends of Fakahatchee (FOF) private or group tour can be the highlight of the season for your community, organization, group and family. To arrange an exclusive private swamp walk, tram tour or boardwalk tour call our office at 239-695-1023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check Eventbrite for the schedule and availability for any of these activities and to make reservations.
Places are limited.
All proceeds are used by the Friends of Fakahatchee, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, to support and protect the Fakahatchee Preserve’s natural resources. To improve visitors experience, and to fund our educational activities. Additional opportunities to experience the Fakahatchee are available through volunteer activities. Join the Friends of Fakahatchee today. Members also receive advance notification of all events, as many of these activities book up early.
Private tours are available, call the office at 239-695.1023