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Wilderness Walking: Cypress and Sawgrass Prairies

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Participant 7 and up.

Hiking in The Big Cypress Swamp

Want to explore the beauty of the Big Cypress Preserve and learn about its fascinating ecosystem? Join our naturalists for a fun and informative hike!

Southern Florida is a giant bumpy slope where sheet flow covers the land for at least half the year and flows steadily to the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Bay. On its way, it swells over pine forests, swirls around hardwood hammocks, sinks into Cypress Domes and stretches along Cypress Strands. These high and low points begin at 8.5 feet above sea level and reach a lofty 13 feet above sea level, and yet in only 5 feet of difference, four distinct habitats shelter the life of this wet and wild world.

Our Wilderness Walks take you through these unique habitats with explanations of the changes in flora and how local wildlife uses these areas. Nature Walks will meet at the Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center and will be lead by an Institute naturalist. This would be a wet walk, as you will slog through Cypress Strands and Sawgrass Prairies.

Please be sure to bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Things to wear: a hat, loose long sleeve shirt and shoes that lace and that you don’t mind getting wet.

Through this program, you will never see this land as flat or impassable again, but as a welcoming mosaic of subtle beauty, serenity and unique life!