If you have ever wanted to experience the Everglades, but were too scared to venture out for fear of disturbing a sleeping alligator or stepping on an unsuspecting snake, then you have to visit the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

With a 2.5 mile boardwalk that will take you safely through marshlands, pine flatwood and wet prairies, you will be amazed by the wildlife you will come across. Grab your camera before you head out as you will be able to capture some never-seen-before shots of all the inquisitive animals, such as the red-bellied turtles, the famous white-tailed deer, songbirds and of course the infamous alligators.

If you aren’t yet convinced, stop off at the Blair Audubon Visitor Center, which boasts to be cutting edge, solar powered and environmentally friendly to boot. The center has a Nature Store, for all your gifts, souvenirs including books, clothing and jewelry, as well as their Gallery Café, where all sorts of snacks and drinks are sold. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Guided Walks

Guided Walks
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There are many guided walks to choose from at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. If you are particularly a bird lover, then you have come to the right place. The Swamp is part of the Atlantic Flyway for bird migration and also the Great Florida Birding Trail. In addition, they are a Ramsar designated Wetland of International Importance.

Early Bird Walks

The guided Early Bird Walk takes place, as the name indicates, early morning. Not too early, mind you, but early enough when the birds are at their perkiest and most verbal.

Brush up on the local birds or grab a copy of a bird sanctuary booklet so you can seek and discover these wondrous beauties. You will be educated on the bird’s habitat and their habits, from how they build their nests, to when their mating season is. In addition, the naturalist guides will tell you why these birds are so important to the upland and freshwater wetlands.

At reasonable rates and kept to a maximum of 8 people, the Early Bird Walk is perfect for all walks of life, but note that only 16 years and older may join in.

Complimentary Guided Boardwalk Tours for Visitors

And who says that things in life aren’t free?

Corkscrew’s Complimentary Boardwalk Tour is offered most days from November month through to March, beginning at 10:30am; and during the months of April to October from 9:30am.

A slightly bigger group than the Early Bird Walk, this tour will have you ‘ooing’ and ‘aaing’ from start to finish. The professional guide will take you from the wilderness forest, which is over 600 years old, to the dense pine thickets and magnificent lettuce lakes. With over 200 species of birds, which includes the anhinga, the heron, the egrets and the limpkins, to mention a few, you will be enthralled and delighted from start to finish. And if you are very lucky you will get a gander at the barred owls that generally reside close to the boardwalk area. Listen out for his characteristic hoot and try and see if you can spot him amongst the foliage.

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2.Ancient Forest Walking Tours

Ancient Forest Walking Tours
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The Bald Cypress Forest is a definite must on your bucket list of ancient hideaways to experience. The Ancient Forest Walking Tour will ensure you get to see this majestic and the largest bald cypress forest.

Back in1954 this old forest was added to the list of forests protected from logging. For 2.25 miles you will be exposed to the wondrous history of that comes with this legendary forest. The trip takes about 3 hours and with only 10 people on board, it will prove to be quite a personal guided tour.

Guided Walks and Interpretive Programs for Adult Groups

If you prefer, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary hosts private guided walks as well for adults. This allows the smaller group to receive a more comprehensive experience. One can then ask all the questions you want from the experienced naturalist guide without delaying the tour. Popular groups that take advantage of this type of guided tour are many business groups, especially the sales team; nature clubs, small family units and other associations.

The program can be adjusted to suit each group. So if you would prefer more of a bird watching session this can be arranged. Or maybe you love the flora or want a specific night walk; all you need to do is request this.

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3.Corkscrew Swamp Walks

Corkscrew Swamp Walks
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Now, if you still have a real interest in being closer to the swamplands, then the Corkscrew Swamp Walks are where you want to go. Moving beyond the safe boardwalk may seem daunting to even the most adventurous fellow, but this walk takes you deep into the Everglades. When we say deep we mean about 1.5 miles in and idea is to get your feet a little wet.

Bring your wellington boots, and possibly even a walking stick; and be prepared for at least 3 feet of water terrain. The walk covers topics such as the bald cypress trees, other rare plants such as the bromeliads, ferns and orchids, as well as all the wildlife that frequent the area.


Corkscrew offers many workshops and it’s where you can literally get your hands dirty learning a new skill or honing in on a new hobby. Here are the workshops on offer:

Lunch and Learn Workshop

For all science or nature related topics you want to hop on board the next Lunch and Learn Workshop, which are held occasionally throughout the year, mostly between November and April months. Corkscrew employs the expertise from local professionals who will enthrall and delight you with all they know, whilst you have some delicious lunch at the Tea Room Café. The Workshop is free to the public, so be sure to book your seat soon and well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Python Patrol Training Workshop

Whether you have a love for the cold blooded belly crawlers or freak out at the thought of them, the Python Patrol Training Workshop is a must do at Corkscrew. Learn how to identify the Burmese python, a regular inhabitant of the Everglades, and also how to deal with them in the most humane and safe manner. These workshops are free to the public but get pretty full, so book early to avoid being left off.

Corkscrew Swamp Meditation Sessions

While this may seem like an unusual pastime in the middle of the Everglades, the meditation sessions, held by the Spiritual Coach Bethany Gonzalez, are very popular. You won’t be seated in the middle of the Everglades, so no worries there. The amphitheatre, enveloped by the rich cypress forest, is where you will place your pillow and blanket, and be taken into a peaceful world of meditation. At $20 a class, be sure to book early and take part in this unique experience.

The Outdoor Macro Photography Workshop

Amazing things can be discovered from behind a camera lens. Book yourself on this eye-opening workshop and take a magical journey with professional photographer Mike Matthew. He will take you off the boardwalk path into the Everglades to get up close and personal with the natural habitat and wildlife. This is an experience not to be missed, no matter whether you are a professional or amateur photographer. The cost of the workshop is $150 and places fill up fast.

The Indoor Macro Photography Workshop

Mike Matthews, the in-house professional photographer at Corkscrew, will take you on a mind-boggling tour of about 10 types of frog, lizards and snakes. Be prepared to be wowed by the Red-eyed Tree Frog and many other species. You will have the opportunity to hone your photographic skills on all these reptiles and amphibians, including many different flowers and plants.

Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is open daily from 7:00am to 5:30pm and their entry fees are very reasonable. Adults pay $14, full-time students $6, kids aged 6 to 18 years $4 and the under 6 year olds enter free.

In addition, tickets are valid for 2 consecutive days giving you plenty time to explore and learn.

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375 Sanctuary Rd W, Naples, Florida 34120, Phone: 239-348-9151

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Best Things to Do in Naples, Florida: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

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