The Big Cypress Nature Preserve
This is just one of nature's many beauties surrounding Naples Fl homes for sale and Marco Island real estate!
If youíre like most people, when you think of "Florida" and "swamp," the first place that comes to mind is probably the Florida Everglades. Just to the north of the famous Florida Evergladesí well known "rivers of grass" are the vast sandy islands of slash pine, hammock, maple, oak, strangler fig, coco plum and gumbo-limbo of the Big Cypress Nature Preserve. Often called a swamp, the preserve is an important watershed for the Everglades. As the first National Preserve established by the National Park System, Big Cypress is 729,000 acres of rich, subtropical land bursting with black head rush, ribbon lily, hempvine, and saw palmetto with marshy areas of sawgrass, arrowhead and cattail.
Big Cypress Nature Preserve
Not Just Cypress Trees
You will see much more than cypress trees in the preserve! Named for the sheer size of the place, only about one third of the Big Cypress is covered with cypress trees. This vast, federally protected wilderness is owned by Florida and the United States, and is surrounded by the Everglades National Park, the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, the National Panther Refuge, and the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Its terrific neighbors combine to protect the Big Cypress preserve from development.
Water for the Wetlands
A subtropical climate means you can expect mild winters and hot, wet summers in the Big Cypress Nature Preserve. With sixty inches of rain each year, the preserve was established in 1974 to buffer the ailing Florida Everglades, which was beginning to dry up. The supply of water in the famous wetland was being diverted to cities, towns and the Gulf of Mexico through a system of canals. The Big Cypress, long a healthy preserve with 97 percent of its water coming from rainfall each year, is an important watershed for the Florida Everglades. Today, Big Cypress serves as a supply of fresh, clean water for the estuaries of Everglades Cityís Ten Thousand Islands area.
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Hotbed of Biological Diversity
Big Cypress is home to an abundance of endangered and threatened species too. You will see tropical animals like the liguus tree snail, and plants like the royal palm and cigar orchid, as well as alligators, herons, bald eagles, white-tailed deer, bobcats, bears and the endangered Florida panther. This marriage of temperate and tropical species creates a unique opportunity for you to experience biological diversity at its most pure.
Scenic Day Trips
There is much to see and do in the Big Cypress! You may decide to camp, canoe, kayak, hike or bird watch. You may see a wood stork feeding beside a canal or catch a glimpse of the elusive Florida panther. The Florida National Scenic Trail begins here, treading northward until it ends at Gulf Islandís National Seashore near Pensacola. Drive through the preserve or stop by the Visitorís Center to view a 15-minute movie about the preserve, enjoy a wildlife exhibit and browse memorabilia for sale.
The Big Cypress Nature Preserve is open every day all year round from 8:30am-4:30pm, except on December 25.
You can visit the Big Cypress Nature Preserve free!
About a one-hour drive from Marco Island: take State Road 92 to US 41, and turn right. Big Cypress borders Golden Gate to the east. Its Oasis Visitor Center is located east of Everglades City on Highway 41.
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Looking for Naples Fl homes for sale and Marco Island Florida real estate? Contact Lisa Gandy, your Marco Island REALTORģ today. She'll be glad to help you find your place in the sun!