Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary By: Wes Tallyn

If you’re ever in the Naples area, you have to check out Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The park is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Naples and offers a rare glimpse into a thriving cypress swamp! There’s a 2.25-mile boardwalk that takes you through an amazing swamp that is absolutely teeming with plant life. 

Almost every inch of dry ground and tree surface is covered with air plants, orchids or buttressed tree trunks. This is a very good place to see some plants you will otherwise rarely see in parks like Pond Apple, Swamp Hibiscus and even the super rare Ghost Orchid when it’s in bloom!

The place is full of wildlife, but you have to work slowly to pick them out of the lush vegetation.  Snakes and lizards can be viewed crossing below and several bird species nest above, including Swallow-tailed Kites. Park goers often see American Alligators, Florida Black Bears and River Otters; and, there have even been sightings of the elusive Florida Panther in the park.

The park suggests that you buy tickets online before going, and you should check their website for hours of operation.  Stop in and check it out for yourself, because it is truly a memorable experience!