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“Heron, wood storks, bellowing bull alligators, and baby gators--oh my!”

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
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Private Half-Day Lake Trafford Fishing Trip near...
Ranked #10 of 129 things to do in Naples
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a 13,000 acre Preserve. The Sanctuary is open daily from 7-5:30 with last admission at 4:30 pm. Visitors will find a gentle, pristine wilderness that dates back more than 500 years. A 2.25 mile boardwalk meanders through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, around a marsh and finally into the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. These impressive trees, relatives of the redwood, tower 130 feet into the sky and have a girth of 25 feet. Their massive branches are draped with mosses, lichens, bromeliads and ferns. The forest is also home to alligators, otters, white-tailed deer and red-bellied turtles. A wide variety of wading birds, songbirds, raptors and the fabulous Painted Bunting can be seen throughout the year. Photo opportunities are available at every turn of the boardwalk trail.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

We came here about 4:15 in the afternoon (the park closes at 5:30) and were treated to a vast array of wildlife along the 2.5 mile boardwalk trail through Corkscrew Swamp. We saw green and brown lizards everywhere (anoles), tons of beautiful white wood storks, heron, many other birds, and alligators! And not only did we see alligators but we watched a bull alligator and another alligator glide through the water toward a wood stork who paid them absolutely no mind. We, however, were very nervous about whether the stork would be caught (it wasn't). After a while the bull alligator bellowed loudly a number of times, likely calling to a would be mate nearby. As we continued along the boardwalk we saw maybe 8-10 baby alligators very close to the boardwalk. Even our 20 year old daughter, often bored by such things, got out her cell phone and texted pictures to her friends! The boardwalk winds its way through trees and over swampland and is a beautiful, easy walk. Maybe we just got lucky but we had an incredible hour and a half here (could have stayed much longer). Birders will love this park but so will anyone who likes to be outside and observe a variety of birds and wildlife. We highly recommend this park!

Thank shrinkdocdeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 27, 2012

I intended to go to Corkscrew for a couple years now and only just recently made a trip there. I took my 3 and 5 year olds along for the ride and we took the short hour long jaunt from Ft Myers to see what it was all about. The afternoon turned into a pleasant walk around the sanctuary enjoying what Corkscrew had to offer.

The price was definately within budget as kids under six are free and I was the only adult ($10 for me). The boardwalk was easily navigable with our double stroller and the walk offered several places to stop and admire the scenery. While the were no flashy exhibits, several places along the way revealed wildlife in its natural setting. The boys got a kick out of the small lizards that crossed our path regularly. A nice birdwatcher pointed out a green tree frog for them. A big snake was perched on a rock (at a safe distance if you were wondering). Several alligators and their young were feeding on fish as we walked through. One could easily spend several hours walking through the 2 mile trail but we cruised through at a much more reasonable pace. About the time we finished, the boys patience was beginning to wear thin so the timing was about perfect.

If you decide to go bring some water with you but leave the snacks in the car as it's against the rules. Cameras are welcome and there are plenty of opportunities especially for avid photogs. Corkscrew is worth doing once and can fill up a cool morning or afternoon. It was a nice adventure on our family vacation.

Thank Geoff C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a respite from the world's busy-ness. It's also one of the largest Audubon sanctuaries, and a place where nature is nature, and a place where helpful people love what they're doing, and a place where those helpful people love helping you learn more about your surroundings.

Physically, it's huge -- more than 14,000 acres. Although some of the educational programs will take you on actual trails, your visit probably will be confined to the boardwalks that lead through the sanctuary. One is a 2.2 mile loop; the other, shorter, one, is a little over a mile. It's entirely accessible for wheelchairs, and the boardwalks are wide and well maintained. In fact, the wood itself (it's not recycled plastic, it's real wood -- and they'll tell you why, in the Visitor's Center) is in harmony with the mission of the place, which is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems.

Take your time at Corkscrew -- linger, listen, smell, feel, observe. There aren't a lot of explanatory signs along the boardwalks, although there are some. But there are guidebooks you can purchase, and naturalists who will eagerly answer your questions.

Don't misunderstand -- just because you're on a boardwalk the whole time, and it's called a swamp, doesn't mean you'll be above water the entire trip. A swamp, by definition, has trees. (A marsh has grasses.) Yes, you'll see alligators, and all manner of birds, but you'll also see a significant stand of bald cypress trees, and six different small ecosystems along the way.

Make the trip -- it's about half an hour or so from Naples, a little more from Ft. Myers. Plan on spending three hours, just so you can enjoy without rushing. Come in the morning, when humans are quieter and wildlife might be more active.

Relish this sanctuary.

Thank cmhprh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

What a wonderful place to spend a morning or afternoon. It lies in the Northeastern section of Naples about a half hour from downtown Naples. Easy to navigate for anyone, walking on 2 1/2 miles of boardwalk weaving itself through Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Run by the Audubon Society. You can't help to spot and take pictures of painted buntings,
white ibis, anhingas, great egrets, gators galore, and an amazing array of wildlife.

Thank Steve R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 27, 2012

A very interesting area to see wildlife in the natural setting. Guided tours are avaialbe and worth waiting for. We also went back on our own and found the second time was just as good.

Thank Ray D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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