Visiting Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

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A quick overview of the place:

It’s a roughly 47,000 acre wildlife  refuge consisting primarily of Everglades marsh habit, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Sarvice. About 400 acres of it is called the Bald Cypress Swamp and it is the largest remaining remnant of a cypress strand that once separated the pine woods in the east from the Everglades marshes to the west. A half mile boardwalk goes deep into this swamp giving the visitor a chance for an up-close swamp experience without getting wet.

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In addition to the swamp boardwalk, there are a series of lovely walking trails around 10 diked impoundments making up about 300 acres that are managed to support native habit that provides food for the birds and other wildlife that live in the area.

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For instance there are a lot of apple snails in these managed areas that serve as food for limpkins and the much more rare Everglades snail kite.

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We had a fine view of the area from an observation tower early on in our walk.

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We walked the paths for about an hour and certainly plan to come back but, even in that short time we saw turtles, butterflies a whole lot of birds and even some large scratch marks on a tree that seemed to us to have been made by some kind of large cat.

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As we were leaving, the best sight of all hove into view. Two tractors pulling large wagons filled with happy children enjoying sights and sounds that hopefully will stay with them a lifetime.

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