Journey into Florida’s Amazon, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Florida
Photograph by Nick Zantop
The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk takes visitors 3200 feet into the thick subtropical swamp of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in Southwest Florida. Known as the Amazon of North America, Fakahatchee Strand is a twenty mile long, five mile wide linear swamp forest carved into the land by the movement of water over thousands of years. A slow moving, shallow river flows beneath a canopy of bald cypress and the lush greenery makes it easy to imagine that you are venturing deep into the jungles of the Amazon.
More orchid and bromeliad species grow here in Fakahatchee than anywhere else on the continent of North America – an amazing 44 species of orchids and 14 bromeliad species are native to the area! Wildlife is abundant and can be seen easily, even from the boardwalk. Alligators both large and small are frequently seen and heard – at the end of the boardwalk is a deeper area of water where large alligators can often be spotted.