Corkscrew is owned and operated by the National Audubon Society. It is located northeast of Naples and requiring a bit of a drive from the downtown area, but it is absolutely worth it!
You don’t have to be a “bird watcher” to fall in love with Corkscrew. It has a two and one quarter mile boardwalk that winds through different habitat in the Florida’s western everglades.
You will get to experience the beautiful bald cypress trees and two hundred species of birds, including wood stork, limpkin, roseate spoonbill, and bald eagle. You never know when you might see black bear, otter, deer, Florida panther, turtles and, of course, alligators.
Marcia and her husband, Dan, took their children there regularly as they were growing up, and now return whenever the kids are in town as it is one of their favorites. You don’t have to be a naturalist to enjoy nature. At Corkscrew, you are on a boardwalk so you don’t have to fight your way through the swamp as you venture deep into the natural habitats.
Along the way, you will encounter friendly, informed volunteers, often armed with high-powered binoculars, who will point out interesting features or wildlife that you may otherwise pass by without noticing.
Among the many experiences we have had there are two that are particularly memorable. Once we saw an alligator moving over land between two wet areas. We estimated it to be 18 to 20 feet long! Another time, we came upon several dozen people who had stopped on the boardwalk. We all silently watched the service of a “lettuce lake” as an alligator stalked a heron for nearly half an hour. He finally got close enough to lunge just as the bird lifted off. He missed his meal and the crowd cheered!
So don’t miss this great adventure. You will always see something different and it all depends on the time of day, season of the year, water levels, and temperature.
Insider Tip: You will never be bothered by mosquitos at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Ask the naturalists why!
The facility is open 365 days a year and the boardwalk is wheelchair accessible. It is a treat for young and old alike.
Corkscrew Swamp Sancturay
375 Sanctuary Road West
Naples, FL 33120