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Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve




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Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve
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General Information

Florida's Fascinating Natural Beauty
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Florida's Fascinating Natural Beauty
Description - The Big Cypress Swamp of southwest Florida is basically a flat, gently sloping limestone plain. During the rainy season (June through September), water flows slowly southward over this plain into the mangrove swamps bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Water also flows below ground through the porous underlying limestone. In places, limestone has dissolved, forming elongated sloughs or channels which have accumulated deep organic soils. These channels or sloughs have been colonized by cypress and other trees, creating swamp forests that stand out on the horizon in contrast to the open prairies and pinelands that occupy the sterile veneer of marl soil which is on top of the remaining limestone. The local term for these linear swamps is "strand."

Attractions - The Fakahatchee Strand is the major drainage slough of southwestern Big Cypress Swamp and the largest and most unusual of the strands. Although logging, drainage and other human actions have had a serious impact on the swamp, it is still one of the state's most unusual natural features containing the largest stand of native royal palms and largest colony of natural orchids.

Recreation - Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve offers boardwalk access to an old growth cypress strand and opportunities for day hiking.

Climate - The climate in southern Florida is subtropical, with mild winters and hot, wet summers. It is not unusual for temperatures to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit with averages reaching above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging above 64 degrees Fahrenheit (above 18 Celsius). Yearly precipitation for the southwest area is more than 56 inches. Lightweight clothing for hot temperatures is suggested. Long sleeves, pants, sturdy shoes and bug repellent are recommended if hiking.

Location - Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve is located in southwest Florida, on Janes Memorial Scenic Drive, just west of Copeland on State Route 29 and east of Naples.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: mariposa (Sugarloaf Key, FL)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Road for access is Jane's Scenic Drive, not James. Late summer is wet, wet, wet. Keeps the dust down on the road and open options for seeing wildlife, both flora and fauna. We plan to go early September this year. No food, no amenities for MANY miles- wear serious protective gear to prevent mosquito bites---especially with WEST NILE around. DEET on clothes/hair, other less toxic on any exposed skin. Take PLENTY of water for yourself TAKE NOTHING from the preserve-EVERYTHING IS PROTECTED.

Filed By: jake Heaton (Post St. Lucie, FL)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I only recommend this awesome preserve to people that are unfearful. You could just go on the boardwalk if you are really inadventurous, but if you decide to go in the swamp, make sure someone is with you!! The park biologist does walks every once in a while. This can be dangerous if you do not look out for the dangers (deadly snakes, alligators). If you want to explore the presevre you would probably want to get on james Senic drive and pull off to the side and get out into the swamp. James senic forks into 5 roads, go on the second one from your right I think it is. This is not a 'go out and picnic' preserve. The preserve rewards you with rare Orchids, lots of animals, and really a thriling experience. best advice: watch out, be safe!


More Information

Contact Information:
Fakahathcee Strand State Preserve, P.O. Box 548 , Copeland, FL, 34137, Phone: 941-695-4593

Additional Information:
Florida State Parks - The mission of the Florida Park Service is to provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.
Southwest Florida - Southwest Florida is called the "Wonderland for Wildlife." The region houses a number of endangered and protected animal and plant species.

Links:
Florida Division of Recreation & Parks - Official agency website.

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