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cloudship

Swamp Trails

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I am getting desperate here, and I know someone on these boards must have an idea.

Are there any kind of parks (nature, not theme) down in the attractions area? I really, really want to find some kind of boardwalk through a swamp area (kind of like they used to have at Disney's Fort Wilderness), but anything kind of naturish will do. I can't really get too far, and my parents (who are visiting with me) really want to see the nature side of Florida. Only all I find is either unmarked general areas (and I don't know my way aorund enough), or it's part of some resort or housing development.

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Have you thought of going on an airboat tour? There is one at the edge of Kissimmee just west of the municipal airport. Well, there used to be. Maybe someone more familiar with the area can chime in if there has been a change. I went to high school in Kissimmee and drove by the place at least once a week, but that was in the 80's.

Also, Gatorland has a boardwalk through a small swamp area, but then again, that is a different kind of park.

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Gatorland boardwalk is what I would suggest in the attractions area. (Currently they have a $9.99 FL resident special and one should also be able to find BOGO coupons in the Entertainment Book or other tourist coupon books) However, if you want to come up to the downtown area, Leu Gardens is always a personal favorite that has different themes throughout the gardens. This time of year the camelias are in their peak bloom. Leu Gardens is free on Mondays before 11 am, otherwise admission is 7 or 8 bucks.

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I am getting desperate here, and I know someone on these boards must have an idea.

Are there any kind of parks (nature, not theme) down in the attractions area? I really, really want to find some kind of boardwalk through a swamp area (kind of like they used to have at Disney's Fort Wilderness), but anything kind of naturish will do. I can't really get too far, and my parents (who are visiting with me) really want to see the nature side of Florida. Only all I find is either unmarked general areas (and I don't know my way aorund enough), or it's part of some resort or housing development.

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I didn't even think of Gatorland. Have to consider that. Unfortunately I don't think time is going to permit going all the way up to one of the springs, although I would love to do that. I don't think my parents are really going to want to go on an airboat ride. You never know, but somehow not what I would expect they would enjoy. But Lake Louisa might be a good idea - I will have to figure out how far that wil be for us.

thanks for the help!

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I second the Lake Louisa State Park suggestion. I found a geocache there that required a wade!

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Anyone ever hear of Shingle Creek Reserve? does this exists yet, or is it just planned?

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We ended up checking out Tibet Butler Preserve. We didn't get a chance to spend a lot of time there, but spent a good couple of hours. That is a pretty great preserve! They have a boardwalk there, not so much through a Cypress Swamp as through a wetland and hammock (sorry, don't know my swamps!). There are several other trails as well. We plenty of birds, but only an armadillo and a rabbit. Ironically the armadillo created quite a stir with them. not quite what they were used to seeing, and maybe not quite as big as they thought they would be. What really gets me is how close this is to the tourist areas, and yet how undiscovered it is. Part of me wants to get the word out, and part of me worries about it being overrun.

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We ended up checking out Tibet Butler Preserve. We didn't get a chance to spend a lot of time there, but spent a good couple of hours. That is a pretty great preserve! They have a boardwalk there, not so much through a Cypress Swamp as through a wetland and hammock (sorry, don't know my swamps!). There are several other trails as well. We plenty of birds, but only an armadillo and a rabbit. Ironically the armadillo created quite a stir with them. not quite what they were used to seeing, and maybe not quite as big as they thought they would be. What really gets me is how close this is to the tourist areas, and yet how undiscovered it is. Part of me wants to get the word out, and part of me worries about it being overrun.

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