Wild South Florida — Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
 
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Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
corkscrew landscape
corkscrew swamp
corkscrew scene
 

375 Sanctuary Road West
Naples, FL  34120

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Finding a piece of Florida exactly as it was when the first Europeans stepped foot on its shores is probably a forelorn hope. Even the most pristine places have plants and animals living within their confines that aren't supposed to be there. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, however, comes pretty darn close. It is large, and it is wild. It is a place where the age of trees is measured in centuries rather than mere decades.

Corkscrew is unusual in several regards. For one, it is privately owned, operated by the National Audubon Society. It covers 13,000 acres, including the largest stand of virgin bald cypress forest in the world. It is home to the largest nesting colony of wood storks in the U.S. It also provides habitat for a number of endangered plants and animals, including the Florida panther, gopher tortoise, Big Cypress fox squirrel, Florida black bear and the ghost orchid.

The boardwalk is 2.25 miles, and wanders through a variety of wet habitats — swamp, marsh, cypress forest and wet prairie. The boardwalk is well elevated, but encounters with a few animals are possible. Corkscrew also has a shop, interpretive center and café. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission: $12 for adults and includes a second visit the next day. Plan at least two hours, preferably longer, for your visit.


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Additional Links for Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Institute for Regional Conservation Plant Species List Bird List (PDF) Great Florida Birding Trail  
 
Photo Gallery for Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
pileated woodpecker at corkscrew purple flower wolf spider corkscrew butterfly on pickeral weed flower
epiphyte flower cluster false foxglove catbird
spider lily queen butterfly yellow flower yellow primrose
pink flowers skipper feeding on fireglag black bear
airplant on side of tree deer st. john's wort anhinga
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.