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Undeveloped in terms of human involvement, nature exemplifies its own development by harboring rare plants and animals in a mystical environment of cypress strands.

Experience a portion of the 73,000-acre (20 miles long and only 3 to 5 miles wide) preserve on a nearly half-mile boardwalk that terminates at what is known as "alligator hole." Meander above the tea-colored waters and discover the multiple plant communities including swamps lush with maple, oak, pond apple, pop ash, willow and cypress. Experience the birdlife amid the wet prairies and marshes dominated by beautiful golden grasses. Dawn and dusk are the best wildlife viewing times. This is actually an interpretive walk dotted with resting benches and signage.

The park staff hosts monthly nature hikes. Reservations required for the guided walks.

Directions: From Carnestown, FL, Travel west on U.S. Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) about a mile to reach the well-marked pull-offs.

Elevation: Sea Level

Distance: 2,000 Feet

Difficulty: Easy

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Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, Florida

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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