Photo: Wilson Bilkovich
Take an adventurous two-mile walk through various natural ecosystems, exploring native wildlife along the way at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. One of the few locations left of its kind in the region, the 13,000 acres is full of native plants and animals, presenting a virtual outdoor classroom for kids and grownups alike.
As you take your walk on the wild side, you’ll see the unique site provides a home for turtles, deer, otters and alligators. You’ll also find massive old trees, wading birds and songbirds at home throughout the sanctuary.
The site is home to marshland, wet prairie, pine flatwoods and North America’s largest forest of old growth Bald Cypress trees. Inside the Blair Audubon Visitor Center, meanwhile, guests are treated to a discovery center, rotating art exhibits, a bird viewing area and educational exhibits.
You’ll also find classrooms, nearby picnic tables, a café and a Nature Store with souvenirs for sale. Guided walks of the sanctuary are available, as are specially designed programs and workshops.
You can choose to take part in an adventurous swamp walk or take part in one of the planned bird and butterfly counts. Another option is the Corkscrew After Hours program.
The seasonal fun runs during the fall, winter and spring seasons, with upcoming events consisting of the annual Family Fun Fest in October, Florida Owls in November and Florida Panthers in February. During these events participants are able to visit the Corkscrew boardwalk and the Blair Audubon Center until 9pm.
Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy interpretive exhibits and educational programs. The evenings additionally include art exhibits, live music and fun.
Only about a half hour to the east of Naples, normal operating hours generally run from morning through late afternoon. The sanctuary does charge admission to its visitors, but parking is free.