The ½-mi Big Cypress Bend boardwalk through this linear swamp forest provides opportunity to see rare plants, nesting eagles, and Florida's largest stand of native royal palms co-existing—unique to Fakahatchee Strand—with bald cypress under the forest canopy. Fakahatchee Strand, about 20 miles long and 5 miles wide, is also the orchid and bromeliad capital of the continent with 44 native orchids and 14 native bromeliads, many blooming most extravagantly in hotter
months. It's particularly famous for its ghost orchids (as featured in Susan Orlean's novel The Orchid Thief), visible on guided hikes. In your quest for ghost orchids, keep alert for white-tailed deer, black bears, bobcats, and the Florida panther. For park nature on parade, take the 12-mile-long (one-way) W. J. Janes Memorial Scenic Drive, ($3 payable at the honor box; have exact change). Hike its spur trails if you have time. Rangers lead swamp walks and canoe trips November through April.
Boardwalk on north side of Tamiami Trail, 7 mi west of Rte. 29; W. J. Janes Scenic Dr., ¾ mi north of Tamiami Trail on Rte. 29; ranger station on W. J. Janes Scenic Dr., 137 Coastline Dr., Copeland, Florida, 34139, United States