Florida Guide > State Parks
FAKAHATCHEE STRAND PRESERVE
Fakahatchee Strand State Park is located at Copeland in Janes Memorial Scenic Drive, which is on the S. R. 29 in Floridas glorious south west.
It is a linear swamp forest that measures 20 miles by 5 miles and is specially noted for the bald cypress trees and the regal palms. There are more regal palms here than any where else in Florida.
Historians have traced human habitation here to pre historic times. Around 1200 b. c the Paleo Indians lived here and in 6500 b. c. early archaic people. Then in 500 b. c. we see the advent of the Europeans
Where the Fakahatchee and the East River go into the bay , there is Daniels Bay where there is evidence of a pioneer settlement. In the first half of the 20th century a chap called John Daniels and his family lived there. Opposite on Fakahatchee Island lived several other families.
From the 1940s they started logging here which did the enviroment no good at all. Many companies logged the bald cypress trees that were a valuable commodity. This ceased in the 50s but you will be able to see the rail beds from that period when you walk the nature trail.
Sometime in 2007 the rangers are going to start doing guided canoe tours; that will be a wonderful way to see a slice of the real Florida (phone 239 693 4593 for more details or to make a booking)
The trail begins at Cypress Bend and is 2000 feet of Board walk. This is a good way to see the swamp and takes you through the Old Growth Cypress.
You can see opossums, deer and turkeys in this park, but what you may not have expected is that panthers and bears are also residents here!
In the wet areas look out for cranes, spoon bills and ospreys. You will not be surprised to know that there are alligators. . . . big ones and a lot. One time the rangers counted 100 in a small area.
During the spring and early summer the rangers carry out controlled burnings. This is for many reasone among them is to kill off the dead growth and poor quality trees. This then make the others stronger
Currently they are filling in the Prairie Canal which is stealing the precious water that is badly needed for the flora and fauna.
In the past, ignorance and greed has meant that the ecology of Fakahatchee has been compromised but with all the conservation work, this glorious park will be retained for many generations to come.
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
P. O. Box 548
Copeland, Florida 34137
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