E42. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Gateway)
Nearest City: Naples/Immokalee
Phone Number: 239-348-9151
Amenities: Restrooms, Entrance fee required, Birding by foot/hiking, Best time of day: All day, Recommended length of visit: all day br>
Habitats: Freshwater Swamp, Freshwater Marsh/Wetlands, Pines
This Audubon Society keystone site encompasses the largest remaining stand of old-growth bald cypress on the continent, and the birds love it! Boasting a 200+ species list, the 2.25-mile boardwalk through this rare habitat is an easy walk where wildlife viewing and the appreciation of nature is paramount. Barred Owls and Red-shouldered Hawks will watch you from low perches as you walk, while Limpkins, White Ibises, and the whole menagerie of egrets and herons (including night-herons!) pick their way through the shallow swamp waters. For those who want to chase the smaller birds, warblers and vireos are abundant and Painted Buntings are regulars during the winter. A section of the boardwalk is re-routed around a wood stork rookery during breeding season. Stop inside the Blair Audubon Center, where you can pick the brains of volunteer naturalists, browse the recent sightings, check out a pair of binoculars or simply wait out a passing rainstorm. This site is a true gem. Call or check the website for admission prices and for details about educational programs.
Directions: From Immokalee: from intersection of SR 29 and CR 846 (Naples-Immokalee Rd.), drive 13.9 mi. west on CR 846 and turn right on Sanctuary Rd.; entrance is 1.5 miles on the right. From Naples: from I-75 exit 111 (CR 846, Naples-Immokalee Rd.), drive 15.3 mi. east on CR 846 and turn left on Sanctuary Rd; entrance is 1.5 mi. on the right.
Open daily, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.