Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Chouette rayée / Barred Owl

Barred Owl.

The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is one of many delightful spots tucked away in SW Florida. It is open daily (weather permitting) from dawn until dusk. Corkscrew is just over an hour southeast of Cape Coral FL Bed and Breakfasts, and an hour northeast of Naples.

The best way to visit the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is on foot. A boardwalk meanders more than two miles through marsh, cypress forest, wet prairie, and pine upland. Interpretive signs relate the various qualities of these four distinct environments, and volunteer naturalists wander the boardwalk, answering questions. It is best to allow two to three hours to walk the boardwalk, as there is much to see.

At this time of year (February – March), visitors are likely to see Red-bellied Turtles, Alligators, and Vultures. Birders should keep an eye out for Great Egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons, Wood Storks, and White Ibis. In truth, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a boon for bird watchers. Barred Owls, Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers, and the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher are all in the vicinity through February and March. Binoculars are a must!

Corkscrew offers a number of programs to help visitors experience the best of the Swamp Sanctuary. In February and March, visitors may embark on early morning bird walks (not too early) with a naturalist, morning walks along the boardwalk with a naturalist, sunset strolls, and night walks. In addition to these guided walks, Corkscrew offers two unique experiences: a Wildflowers Walk on April 1, 2011 and a Deep Sky exploration of the nighttime sky under a new moon on February 25 and March 25, 2011. Guided walks and unique experiences accommodate between ten and twelve people, so reservations are recommended.

The next time you are spend a weekend or a week at a SW Florida Bed and Breakfast, try to find time to visit the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Additional information may be found at Corkscrew.

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