Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park lies along the world’s largest strand swamp and is located in Copeland, Florida just 44 miles south of Naples. This 80,000-acre wilderness offers guests an up close view of the abundant wildlife within the spectacular Everglades.
This picturesque Florida state park has attracted humans for more than 2,500 years – several pre-Columbian Indian sites have been documented in this area. Today’s guests enjoy hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, fishing, picnicking, kayaking and discovering more about this scenic area.
Guided swamp walks, hiking along old logging roads, kayaking along the East River, and seeing alligators, birds and other wildlife along a 2,500 foot long boardwalk await you at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Pack a picnic lunch and rest in one of the park’s picnic areas before setting out on your adventures inside this extensive wilderness preservation area.
Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park:
Boating at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Bring your canoe or kayak and paddle along the peaceful East River or on one of the many freshwater lakes nearby. A launch on the East River is available for non-motorized boats.
Hiking at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Stretch your legs and explore the trails and the 2,000 foot long boardwalk that extends throughout the swamp and wetlands. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to see wildlife here. The beautiful old growth cypress swamp is home to many species!
Here are some of the trails at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park:
- Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Trail – An easy 1.2 mile walk along a partially shaded boardwalk that stretches over the wetlands and leads out to a pond filled with wildlife. Informational signs that highlight the local flora and fauna are located along the way. Mornings and late afternoons are the best times to experience many wildlife sightings.
- East Main Tram Trail – Easy 5.4 mile trail across a cleared tram road that was used for logging from the 1940s to the 1960s.
- West Main Tram Trail – An easy 4.4 mile wide and flat trail along the cypress swampland and marsh.
Biking at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Experience the thrill of off-road biking during your visit to Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. The park’s trails through pine forests, cypress, prairies, and along elevated remnants of railroad bed are ideal for mountain bikes and fat-tire bikes.
All types of bicycles and riders will enjoy the solid dirt trail along Janes Memorial Scenic Drive, an 11 mile pathway that begins near the ranger station and ends at Picayune State Forest. Be aware that trails may be wet and sometimes flooded seasonally. And also that helmets are required by law for all riders under the age of 16.
Fishing at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Pack your angling gear and fish for snapper, tarpon, redfish and snook at one of the many prime fishing spots inside the park. Just be sure to pick up a Florida fishing license ahead of time.
Birding at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Birdwatching is popular all year round at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Both native and migratory birds are often seen at this southernmost stop along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Bring your binoculars and bird list and discover Red-shouldered hawks, Great Egrets, Gray Catbirds, Barred Owls, Swallow-tailed Kite, Roseate Spoonbill, warblers, vultures, wild turkeys, woodpeckers, eagles, ducks, osprey and many more.
Nature and Wildlife at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Discover the beauty inside this 80,000 acre wilderness along the spectacular Everglades. Nature lovers will be amazed at how many beautiful wildflowers (including native orchids), plants and diverse wildlife species may be found here.
During your visit you may glimpse White-tailed deer, black bear, raccoons, opossums, bobcats, alligators, snakes, American crocodile and West Indian Manatees. And possibly even the elusive Florida panther or the Everglades mink.
Pets at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Pets are allowed within designated areas at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park but must be supervised and kept on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet. Pets are not allowed inside park buildings or on the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. Be aware at all times, alligators and venomous snakes are present within the park.
Camping Near Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Planning to spend a few days in the area? Check out the campground at nearby Collier-Seminole State Park, located along the edge of the Everglades at 20200 Tamiami Trail E in Naples. They offer guests a choice for their preferred camping experience: modern campsites, hike-in primitive sites or canoe-in primitive campsites.
The 104 modern campsites have water and electric hookups, picnic tables and grills and can accommodate tents, campers and RVs. Bathhouses and laundry facilities are nearby campsites. Primitive campsites have no nearby facilities and may only be accessed by foot or boat, for more information contact the park office.
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
137 Coastline Dr
Copeland, FL 34137
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park: