Coming off my high from the swamp walk I had the week before at Sweetwater Strand. I decided I would do a mix hike/swamp walk and tackle the infamous Gator Hook Trail out on Loop Road. This roughly five mile trek can be either adventurous or very adventurous depending on how “deep” you want to get. I was all geared up for the long haul, so extra deep it is.
After my tiny taste of swamp walking back in the Okaloacoochee Slough, I was itching to get some serious swamping in. Having passed by the location once before, I decided my first real swamp walk was to be held in the Sweetwater Strand off of Loop Road.
I was headed down to the Keys for the 4th of July and took the beautiful Tamiami Trail over. It had been a few years since I’ve driven all the way across. So needless to say I was a little intrigued when I passed what appeared to be a new (to me) boardwalk called Kirby Shorter.
Located in South West Florida, 14 miles inland from I-75, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary boasts the longest boardwalk (2.25 mi) in any US park. It’s also home to over 200 permanent/temporary birds and has the largest forest of ancient bald cypress in North America. The Sanctuary is owned and operated by the National Audubon Society which it acclaims as their crown jewel of sanctuaries.