Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Tram Tours Explore Fakahatchee Subtropical Wilderness

Naturalist Glen Stacell makes a point during a Fakahatchee tram tour. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Naturalist Glen Stacell makes a point during a Fakahatchee tram tour. SUBMITTED PHOTO


Thanks to the Ghost Rider Tram, you don’t have to get your feet wet or drive your car down dusty roads to see the wonders of the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. At 85,000 acres, the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve is the largest, and least developed, of Florida’s State Parks.

The tram, named in honor of the famous ghost orchid found in the park, offers a naturalist-guided tour of the park, which is home to more orchid species than any other place in all of North America. The park is home to 47 native orchids, 38 native ferns and 14 native bromeliads.

The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is also a haven for diverse wildlife and migratory birds. The park is considered one of the most biologically rich places in the Everglades, where visitors can experience, first-hand, Florida’s subtropical wilderness.

Tickets for the? 2½-hour tour are $25 per person. Tours begin at 10 AM. Fall tours will take place on November 19 and?December 3, 10 and 17.

Each tram tour is led by an experienced guide, who along the ride points out and explains interesting aspects of the park. The tour includes?a 15-minute walk down an old logging path, lined with air plants, ferns, and seasonally blooming orchids. The path is dry, but hikers need to wear closed shoes. The 20-passenger tram is wheelchair accessible, and some seats face backwards. Participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form prior to the tour. This is an outdoor event, so visitors are reminded to please dress appropriately for the weather.

The tram leaves promptly at 10 AM from the ranger station at 137 Coastline Drive, Copeland, off Janes Scenic Drive. Advance reservations are required. For directions and reservations, visit the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park website at: www.orchidswamp.org and click “tours and events.”


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