Come out on National Hammock Day to explore the 2.25-mile long boardwalk that serves as the gateway to a gentle, pristine wilderness, with giant cypress trees over 500 years old. Relax your body, mind, and soul as you immerse yourself in old Florida wilderness alongside the boardwalk, as it meanders through pine flatwood, wet prairie, marshes, and the largest old-growth bald cypress forest in North America. Keep your eyes peeled for the "Super" ghost orchid, alligators, otters, white-tailed deer, red-bellied turtles, and a wide variety of wading birds, songbirds, and raptors.
Visitors can take advantage of the hammocks and rocking chairs placed around the Blair Audubon Visitor Center, as well as the benches located along the shady boardwalk. A guided boardwalk tour is available, and Forest Bathing Meditation will be led by Candyce Stafford in our newly renovated amphitheater on the boardwalk.
National Hammock Day admission on July 22 is $5 per person and FREE for Friends of Corkscrew Members, Members of the US Military/Veterans (with ID), and for children under 15 years old. Online tickets are recommended - click here and select July 22, regularly priced tickets; the event discount will be applied at checkout.
An information table will be in the visitor center where you can learn about how to get involved at the Sanctuary and enter a drawing for a free Friends of Corkscrew membership, and from 11:30 - 12:30 an interpretive table on the back deck of the center invites all visitors to learn more about the forest.
The two special, additional programs are available on National Hammock Day at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary each require a separate ticket:
- Forest Bathing Meditation on National Hammock Day runs from 9 to 10 a.m. and costs $3 per person. Bring your own yoga mat or towel.
- A guided tour on the boardwalk will be offered from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. for $3 per person.
Inspired by Shinrin yoku, Japanese "forest bathing" refers to the practice of immersing all of your senses in the healing forest to reduce stress hormones, improve mood and sleep quality, and increase immune function. Connect with the forest and listen to the sounds around you: singing birds, wind through the trees, quiet. Breathe in clean, fragrant air and soak in the sights of the textured tree trunks and the shapes of branches and leaves. This is a sensory experience.
After the boardwalk, have a peek inside the Visitor Center Nature Store to buy a souvenir or grab a snack and beverage. Stop by the Information table at the Visitor Center to learn more about how to get involved at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
About Candyce Stafford – Guided Forest Meditation Leader
Candyce Stafford is a working clairvoyant/medium, meditation leader, and longtime Friends of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Member. She offers weekly meditation and massage sessions, as well as low-cost monthly group readings in various locations in the Naples- Ft Myers area. Since 2005, Candyce has put together "The Mystic Faire" twice yearly, in Naples and Sarasota in Florida. She conducts regular meditations, workshops and retreats to help you awaken or reawaken your connection with your Higher Self.