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Southwest Florida Outdoor Adventure!

by Reid

Ballards Cabin

Ballards Cabin

Ballards Cabin The Road to Ballards Cabin A Big Gator Suns Himself Near Ballards Cabin

The Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve near Naples is one of my favorite spots in south Florida.

Okay, I admit it, I'm an avid outdoorsman, and would much rather slog through cypress swamps than amble down most city streets, so this place is in my comfort zone.

But you don't have to go "slough-slogging" to enjoy the Fakahatchee. If you just want an off-road walk, but on a two-rut road, and not through the water, you can take the little road that leads back to Ballard's Cabin.

The trip is a little more than a mile each way, and it's a great place to see wild south Florida. Once in a while, though, a gator may be lying in the road, and it may be tricky or impractical to get around him. Just be careful!

Another idea for seeing the Fakahatchee is to join a bicycle tour. The last time I was there, we ran into a group from Naples Bicycle Tours, and they seemed to be having a good time. The tour leaders were friendly and informative, and I intend to take a day trip with them when I get the chance. If I were staying in Naples, this would be at the top of my list.

There's a lengthy dirt road than runs through Fakahatchee called Janes Scenic Drive. The bicycle tour was following that road, plus the rode out to Ballard's cabin. But if you just want to drive through, you can do so.

With a bit of luck, you might even see a Florida panther. There are probably only about 100 or so of them left, and many of them are in and around Fakahatchee. I saw one on the road the last time I was there. Even though they're big cats, they are known for being shy and elusive, so they're hard to find.

Like you, Catherine, I do have a Florida web site, and here's more info for your visitors about Fakahatchee ... Florida Adventuring

You have a great Florida site, and Naples is a beautiful town in which to spend some time far removed from the nearest blizzard or snowstorm. Thanks for all your good info.

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