It wasn’t all chilling out in the 35 degree heat whilst we were vacationing in Fort Myers back in 2016. Whilst the days chilling out on the gorgeous Fort Myers Beach was certainly refreshing after spending 2 weeks hitting the Disney Parks hard, we were also very keen to explore what Fort Myers had to offer!
Part way through our weeks stay at Fort Myers we decided to take a trip to Naples which was about a 48 minute drive from our hotel the pink shell resort. Our destination was the Audubon corkscrew swamp sanctuary, we had done a little bit of research online beforehand and decided that this looked perfect for a day out.
We arrived here at a little after 10am, I think we visited on a Thursday, which meant that it was very quiet, there was only a few other vehicles in the whole parking lot! The admission was $14 per person, and I believe the boardwalk is open everyday from 7am – 5:30pm.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary occupies approximately 13,000 acres in the heart of the Corkscrew Watershed in Southwest Florida, part of the Western Everglades. It is primarily composed of wetlands. Corkscrew provides important habitat for numerous Federal and State listed species, including the Florida Panther, American Alligator, Gopher Tortoise, Florida Sandhill Crane, Limpkin, Roseate Spoonbill, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Big Cypress Fox Squirrel and the Florida Black Bear. Several rare plants are also found here, most notably the Ghost Orchid. Visitors will find a gentle, pristine wilderness that dates back more than 500 years. A 2.25-mile boardwalk meanders through pine flatwood, wet prairie, around a marsh and finally into the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America.
Exploring the boardwalk at our own leisurely pace was great, the scenery is stunning and I really wanted to see as much a nature as I could! The trail was so quiet, sometimes it felt like we were the only people out there!
There is so much to see and do you really can’t get bored, there’s different species of butterfly and caterpillar and we saw raccoons and a huge crocodile! (Okay we missed it at first!…. but we saw it eventually!)
I think we easily spent 3 hours exploring, taking photos and reading up on the local wildlife, and trying to spot different species. I recommend that you take water with you, as you tend to walk miles and miles, bug spray to keep those mosquito away! binoculars (wish I’d thought of that before I went), and of course a camera for all those pictures you’ll be taking whilst walking around the boardwalk!