Winding through the Florida Everglades is a narrow thread of forested swamp approximately 20 miles long and 3 to 5 miles wide called the Fakahatchee Strand. It is the main drainage slough of the southwestern Big Cypress Swamp.
This vast wilderness is a mosaic of royal palm stands, cypress domes, and grassy prairies dotted with wild bromeliads, native ferns, and orchids. The park’s wildlife includes a number of threatened and endangered species. The Florida panther, wood stork, Florida black bear, mangrove fox squirrel, and Everglades mink have all been seen within the preserve.
Although there is limited access to the preserve, visitors can see some areas by driving on Janes Scenic Drive, an 11-mile-long gravel road. However, at Big Cypress Bend, on the north side of US-41 (Tamiami Trail), about 7 miles west of SR-29, visitors can walk along a 2,000-foot-long boardwalk to experience the beauty of a magnificent old growth cypress forest.
The Fakahatchee Strand has much to offer those with outdoor interests. Every season presents different opportunities for wildlife and plant viewing. See the Events Schedule for guided swamp walks, canoe trips, and special events.