Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples
Naples , Florida
Tel: 239 348 9151
Concierge.com's insider take:
The National Audubon Society's 13,000-acre preserve, located 20 miles inland of Bonita Springs, protects pine flatwoods, open prairie, and North America's largest stand of old-growth bald cypress, a moss-draped redwood relative that can exceed 130 feet in height and 25 in girth. A 2.25-mile handicap-accessible boardwalk leads through the pristine forest and over wetlands and shallow "lettuce lakes" that are prime feeding grounds for alligators and wading birds. Almost 200 bird species have been spotted here, including yellow-billed cuckoos, painted buntings, and America's largest nesting colony of wood storks. While this is a self-guided walk, volunteer naturalists along the route will answer questions. Depending on the season, you may spot alligators moving through the grasses, black bears in the pinelands, or raccoons and otters. Given the shade thrown by the towering cypress trees and a thriving population of larvae-eating mosquito fish, this is a pleasant nature call, even in summer.
Open daily 7 am to 7:30 pm, April 11 though September 30, 7 am to 5:30 pm, October 1 through April 10.