Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is celebrating international "World Wetlands Day” with a special selection of guided walks, demonstrations, kids' activities, and live music. Audubon environmental scientists and educators will lead conversations on a variety of subjects to give visitors a better understanding of the importance of this critical watershed, and there is a scheduled backcountry swamp buggy tour.
The National Audubon Society has worked for over 60 years to preserve this tranquil, pristine wilderness that includes the largest remaining old-growth bald cypress forest in North America. A 2.25-mile nature trail meanders through pine Flatwoods, wet prairie, and marshlands before continuing on a boardwalk that snakes above 700 acres of swampland dotted with these giant 500-year-old cypress trees.
In this hushed setting, visitors will often spot a wide variety of wildlife in their natural habitat, including the largest nesting colony of endangered wood storks in North America. You will always see alligators, and will often spot a wide variety of birds, such as the white ibis, limpkin, snowy egret, sandhill crane, red-shouldered hawk, and tricolor heron, along with the gopher tortoise, fox squirrel, and a variety of snakes. If you are lucky, you make even catch a glimpse of a deer, a Florida black bear, and even the very rare Florida panther.
Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for college students, $4 for children 6-18 and under 6 is free. Located at 375 Sanctuary Rd. W. about 30 miles from downtown Naples off Immokalee Road.
Bill Van Arsdale