Florida Nature August 31, 2017
by Victoria W Most People Don’t Realize That Florida Has Its Own Amazon And You’ll Want To Visit
Where can you take in Florida’s wildest scenery, spot some of its most fascinating native animals, and hunt for rare orchids? It’s all right here in the “Amazon of North America,” Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.
Covering more than 85,000 acres, the Fakahatchee is Florida's largest state preserve. Here, you can wade through 20 miles of swamp forest and experience a piece of the real Florida that you might not have known still existed.
Surrounded by an untamed jungle of new sights and sounds, you will experience a place so far removed from modern life it seems like another era, or sometimes another planet.
You can get an immersive experience on one of the guided swamp walks. If you'd rather stay dry, you can walk on the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk or take a tram ride tour.
The 11-mile-long Janes' Memorial Scenic Drive also showcases the park's unique scenery and wildlife.
The unique environment of the forest protects extreme cold temperatures from ever reaching its interior, making it capable of sustaining many rare and endangered tropical plant species, including the super rare ghost orchid and 46 other orchid species.
That's why the Fakahatchee is known as the orchid capital of the country, and why it was featured in Susan Orlean's book
The Orchid Thief as well as the film adaptation.
You can also explore one of the last virgin stands of bald cypress and the largest grove of native royal palms in the state, in the only place in the world where the two grow together so closely.
This unique ecosystem is home to an incredible number of native wildlife, including American alligators, Florida panthers, white-tailed deer, Florida black bears, Florida box turtles, bald eagles, and an incredible variety of resident and migratory birds.
However you decide to explore it, the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is truly an unforgettable experience every Floridian should have at least once in their lifetime.
Have you ever visited the Amazon of North America at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park? What’s your favorite place to experience the real Florida? Let us know in the comments!
Speaking of Florida’s little-known natural attractions, we think you might love
this gorgeous natural spring hiding located near Tallahassee.
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