Florida is known to be surrounded by wetlands and many unusual ecosystems, but some are so unlike the rest. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary offers visitors a unique stroll experience while witnessing wildlife like never before.\nThe 2.25-mile-long boardwalk is situated around the largest old-growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. These trees are relative of the redwoods and reach up to 130 feet into the sky. This forest is home to a variety of wildlife such as alligators, otters, white-tailed deer, and red-bellied turtles. A stroll through the boardwalk will let you experience this rare wildlife up close.\nEven though swamps have a bad connotation due to their plagues of mosquitoes, swamps are important to prevent flooding and provide an extra area to absorb rainwater. Florida is already surrounded by the ocean, so swamps help keep everything at level.\nYou will also experience many wild birds at the sanctuary and a flower field for you to feast your eyes on. This natural oasis will let you experience zoo animals in their real habitat.\nView this post on Instagram When your wife texts and asks where you went at 7am... A post shared by Doug Kollmer (@dougkollmer) on Mar 24, 2019 at 5:28am PDT\nView this post on Instagram For the past two years I have been pursuing Florida panthers with camera traps — the only reliable method for photographing them. But two weeks ago, at Audubon's @CorkscrewSwamp, I had an encounter that I'll be talking about the rest of my life. I was driving into the backcountry and rounded a corner to see a panther sitting in the dirt road. I grabbed a telephoto lens and nervously snapped a few distant frames through the windshield before rolling a little closer and pulling off to the side. The panther was still 150 yards away in harsh 3 PM light. I was just watching when filmmaker Eric Bendick called. I whispered that I was staring at a real-life panther; the conference about our panther film would have to wait. Eric told me to take some video, and with the panther still sitting in the road in bad light, I complied, not realizing how jacked up I was until trying to hold my iPhone steady. After a few seconds of jittery self-narration, the panther started walking right towards me. When it sat back down in the road I resumed my video, but the panther started walking toward me again! I switched back to my main camera, put it in silent mode and held my breath. The panther kept coming, skirting the edge of the swamp behind grass and low palms. I let the shutter rip every time it revealed itself, coming closer with every step. Then it walked within 20 yards of my truck and sat down in an island of palms directly out my window! I filled the frame with its body and looked straight into its piercing eyes! I had mistaken it for a young male by its height, but was corrected when a ruffling in the palms transformed into a kitten. When the little guy got closer, its mother stood and continued down the road. Then they vanished into a thick hammock leaving me alone with my thoughts. When I went to change the batteries in my nearby camera trap, the process felt mechanical and empty. Remote cameras are invaluable, but it’s a whole different experience when the panther is looking right back at you. I am thankful @audubonsociety for protecting this place and giving me access their land. Please join me in following the #PathofthePanther for @natgeo. #floridawild #keepflwild A post shared by Carlton Ward Jr (@carltonward) on Jul 7, 2018 at 4:08am PDT\nREAD MORE: This Roadside Attraction In Florida Has Mini Replicas Of America's Greatest Monuments\nView this post on Instagram Colorful Painted Bunting... #audubon #best_bird_shots #floridabirding #birds #nuts_about_nature #auduboncorkscrewswampsanctuary #birdwatchingphotography #bird_brilliance #wildlifephotography #paintedbunting #birds_elite #nuts_about_birds #birdinginflorida #birds #birdwatching #eye_spy_birds #birdsofinstagram #birds_nature #nikon #nikond500 #photography #gurushots #birdphotography #naturephotography #bestoftheday #tamron150600mm #best_birds_of_world #best_bird_shots #best_birds_planet A post shared by C-AnnKlimek (@cher.thru.my.lens) on Mar 26, 2019 at 2:10am PDT\nDuring your exploration, you will encounter the Marsh Observation Tower, which is excellent for pictures. On your way back you will also see Nancy Knight Otto Rest Stop — a great scenic spot for photos.\nREAD MORE: This Limited Time Pop-Up Opens Today In Miami And It Is About To Be Your Newest Obsession\nCorkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is located at 375 Sanctuary Rd. W., Naples, Florida.\nDisclaimer: We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.