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We did the Fakahatchee boardwalk, officially known as the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk, last year, too and really liked it. This time though, we got to see the CUTEST baby gators ever. Ok, second cutest because the first was in Corkscrew Swamp. But these were adorable and I love them.
This was our last activity for the day and it was the perfect way to end the day. First, right by the little pond out front, we saw the baby gators. They weren’t the tiniest gators I’ve seen but they sure were cute. And a little smug. I took approximately 500 pictures of them before we headed down the trail where we saw a good sized gator and a snake!
Obviously, I had to stop and take about 500 more pictures of them before we moved on. We chatted to a couple of people here and some though the gator was really cool and others were super freaked out walking by with sticks. I was definitely not that worried about it and I’m a huge pansy when it comes to big wildlife.
The only other wildlife we saw this time was a bald eagle. It has a nest that it’s lived in for years and we actually got to see it this time, which was pretty cool. We also saw a flower and I thought it was some kind of orchid and I got SO excited, but it wasn’t. It was some kind of Lilly I think. I had recently read The Orchid Thief and really wanted to see one in the wild, any kind. We did get to see Ghost Orchid roots at Corkscrew Swamp, so it was close I gueess.
We took our time wandering down the rest of the boardwalk and sat at the end for a bit before turning back. The gator and snake were still there and I had to take one more picture because, well, how could I not?
While it’s not the best boardwalk for wildlife (along the boardwalk at least) it’s still really enjoyable and would definitely recommend you check out the Fakahatchee Boardwalk if you’re in the area and have a spare hour. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a short, easy walk.
Where is the Big Cypress Bend boardwalk?
It’s almost 11 miles from Everglades City to the Fakahatchee boardwalk. It’s right along the Tamiami Trail and is a great stop if you’re coming from or going to Naples or Marco Island.
How long is the Big Cypress Bend boardwalk?
It’s 2,000 feet long, so it’s just under a mile round-trip. The first part is a dirt/sand path so that might get it right around a mile for the whole thing. It’s a nice short, easy walk to fill some spare time and maybe see some gators. We saw some both times here.
How long do you need for the Big Cypress Bend boardwalk
Maybe an hour. It’s not long, so you don’t need tons of time. We saw some baby gators and a big one, plus a snake so we spent some time looking at those and taking pictures. There’s a little bench at the end so you can sit and relax for a little bit before heading back.
What is the best time to do the Big Cypress Bend boardwalk?
There isn’t really a bad time to go! Summer is going to be more hot, humid, and buggy, but it will still be a nice walk since it’s not terribly long. All the trees will be nice and lush though, which would be really nice to see.
What to bring on the Big Cypress Bend boardwalk
What else to do near the Big Cypress Bend boardwalk
There is quite a bit to do in this area to keep you busy, so make sure you have plenty of time to see and do it all, or at least as much as you can. I know even after two visits I can’t wait to go back.
There is so much to do in Big Cypress, like other boardwalks, paddling, hiking, driving, and even an art gallery. There is plenty to do here to keep you busy for quite a while.
This is such a fun hike! If you want to see gators, this is the hike for you. It’s four miles round trip and it’s super easy since it’s flat. It takes you to a little swamp shack with a pond full of gators behind it.
This is a great hike for anyone looking for a real Everglades experience. It’s a longer hike, 4.7 miles, and takes you through swamp water (most likely) and is lightly trafficked, so it’s a great option if you want to get away from people.
This is more of a day trip but it’s greater if you want a break from the swamp. It’s also a great place to add for a night as part of a south Florida road trip. This is an easy day trip from Naples, too.
Visit the Florida Panther Preserve
There is a nice hike you can do here, too. It’s an easy walk, but not the most scenic. You’re walking through a lot of tall grass, and I mean tall, and typical south Florida scenery. It’s short and a good way to fill some spare time.
There are so many Geocaches around here, you could easily spend days here just doing that. I tried looking for one at the Fakahatchee boardwalk but there was a gator in the way so I had to skip it. There is one by the giant skunk ape and the tiny post office, too!
Have you done the Fakahatchee boardwalk? What did you think of it? Do you like boardwalks?