Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk (in Black + White)
Part of Fakahatchee Preserve State Park, the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is the most accessible and therefore most highly visited corner of the preserve. It's a notable natural landmark, a stand of virgin cypress in an otherwise cut-over strand. Tunnel into the heart of the swamp on this brief but beautiful boardwalk trail to experience the hundreds of shades of green and the majestic ancient cypresses that tower above. Although lush and rich in greenery, I chose to document my walk in black and white. Many come for the beaches, theme parks, condos and sunshine but I like to get lost in the wild nature. It's humbling. This is the REAL and natural Florida, as it appeared long before all the development. The Florida with the towering 600-year-old cypress trees, whose canopies shield you from the relentless sun. This particular park is quite a gem and it doesn't have the name recognition or the big time organizations that stand behind it as those that back Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Audubon Society's) or the Everglades National Park. The Boardwalk is maintained entirely by volunteers from the Friends of Fakahatchee. Be aware though...just like us humans, the black bears use the boardwalk as the easiest way to traverse the swamp. These photos in this post's slideshow were all shot with my Nikon, edited in Photoshop and fine-tuned on my iPhone4S of all things. Yes, I admit to editing images on a screen the size of large Band Aid.
The Friends of Fakahatchee has started offering naturalist-guided tours along the boardwalk, with wireless headphones that allow visitors to hear about the natural phenomena along the way, while still preserving the hushed volume that is characteristic of and appropriate to the setting. The Boardwalk tours are offered every Thursday morning through March, except for Christmas Eve. Advance reservations are required. To learn more or to support the Friends of Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, a 501(c)3 organization, see www.orchid swamp.org. The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is on the north side of U.S. 41, about 25 miles east of downtown Naples, and about 7 miles west of State Road 29.
Keywords: Big Cypress, Everglades, Fakahatchee Strand, Florida, Naples, Old Florida, SWFL, US travel, Visit Florida, VisitFL, alligators, authentic Florida, bears, black and white, bw, cypress, cypresses, forests, hiking, nature, photo walks, road trips, state parks, state parks, trails, wildlife
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