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If you’ve been here any amount of time, you know I love boardwalks. If you’re new here, well, I love boardwalks and Florida has tons of them so you can easily explore the swamps without slogging through the swamp water. Well, this winter I got to walk the longest boardwalk in Florida this winter: the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk.
It was pretty hot the day we went but I was so excited to see some gators that it didn’t even matter. I also knew there were some ghost orchid roots here that I was very excited to see after recently reading The Orchid Thief. You were excited to see roots you ask? Well, yes. I was. The orchids themselves are extremely rare and hard to find, so I knew this was the closes I would get, at least for now.
Once we got to them though, I could barely even see them, so it was a little underwhelming, though I don’t know what I really expected. I’m still glad I got to see them though. Next up: real live wild orchid.
We actually didn’t really see much wildlife while we were here, but we did get to see the CUTEST BABY GATORS EVER! I may have said the ones at the Fakahatchee boardwalk were the cutest ever but it was 100% these. Then not too long after that we saw a momma gator with a couple, I guess toddler gators since they were bigger than babies.
Then we saw some birds, a section of water that reminded me of the cover of Miracle Creek (it’s very good, you should read it), some cute little white flowers (does anyone know what they are?), and a lovely fern that is one of my favorite pictures from that trip.
This was a really fun boardwalk and I loved it because of how long it is. Most are pretty short so it was cool getting to walk a couple of miles on this one. If you’re visiting Fort Myers, this is a must-do day trip. It’s also great if you’re traveling between Naples and Tampa.
Where is the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk?
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is about 40 minutes from Naples and just under an hour from Fort Myers. It makes for a great day trip from either or a good stop between the two.
Make sure you put in the actual address to your GPS. It’s 375 Sanctuary Road West. We made the mistake of putting in the name and it took us to some weird place.
On our way here from Naples, I learned the founder of Dominos (yes, Dominos pizza) founded a town way out here in the swamp called Ave Maria. Learned something new today, huh?
How much is the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk?
$14 for adults, $6 for college students, $10 for Audobon members, $4 for students 6-18 years old, and free for children under 6. The ticket is good for two back to back days (like Monday and Tuesday, not Monday and Wednesday) and includes the boardwalk and visitor center. If there is a guided walk, that is also included.
When is the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk open?
They are temporarily closed, but when they open back up they will have temporary hours. Those will be Wednesday to Sunday from 7AM to 1PM.
How long do you need for the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk?
A couple of hours should be good. The boardwalk is a 2.25 mile loop with almost no elevation gain. It is Florida, after all. If you want to spend more time birdwatching and looking for wildlife, give yourself a little extra time. It’s all flat, so it’s easy and depending on how fast you walk, you could be done in like, an hour or less. But take some time to enjoy the flora and fauna.
What to bring to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk
You’ll want to wear pants and a long sleeve shirt if you visit between March and November because of Yellow Flies and Deer Flies.
Pants – If you’re walking through water, you’ll want to wear pants so your legs don’t get cut up by the sawgrass.
Long sleeve shirt – A long sleeve shirt will help protect you from mosquitos. This is a must for a summer visit, but not 100% necessary for January and February, but it would be helpful.
Have you been to the Corkscrew Swamp? What did you think of it? Did you see the ghost orchid? Any wildlife?