The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is a part of the Big Cypress Reserve in the Everglades. It is home to trees that are more than a thousand years old. There are also rare orchids to be found in the area as well as migratory birds. Part of this 85,000 acre wildlife area is open to the public. Only a section of the land is open to the public so as to maintain an ideal environment for the animals like the owls and the Florida panthers that live there. There are four known sections are can be accessed by the visitors: these are the East River, Janes Memorial Scenic Drive (an area known for hiking opportunities and biking trails), the Jones Grade lakes and the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk (a boardwalk that’s 2,500 feet long that features an observation deck where you can spot gators) . These places are a great opportunity to take photos and bring back home memories of this treacherous but exciting woodland.
The animals and plant life in this part of the region had been in existence for probably millennia or more and there were even trees that were at least 700 years old, but they had been removed due to the logging activity that happened in the area around 50 years ago. However, human activity began not during the pioneering period or the occupation of the Seminole in the 1800’s but archeological evidence suggests that human settlements have been around the area for at least 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. A major logging activity happened in the area from the 40’s until the 60’s and the cleared areas were used as spaces for trams. The government stepped in 20 years after it was first logged and began the restoration efforts that brought back life to the state park more than 50 years later. The tram roads today serve as hiking trails that are frequented by the tourists. Today, through the efforts of the people of Florida, The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is now one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, providing fresh water for both human communities and the natural environment as a whole.
- Canoeing, kayaking and fishing are some of the water activities that can be enjoyed in this state park.
- Hiking along the tram trails are a way to slowly savor the natural beauty of the place at a rather graceful pace.
- Orchids are the thing many visitors are excited to see in the state park. Some of the orchid species that live in the park are considered rare, like the bromeliads.
- West Indian manatees and alligators are some of the amazing attractions that you may see in the park
- The boardwalk takes you through an ancient cypress forest which makes you feel like you’re in a different world.
- In the park, you can witness the majestic white-tailed deer and its main predator, the Florida Panther.
- Loggerhead turtles and green sea turtles gather up by the beaches annually to secure their own egg hatcheries, perfect for picture taking.