As a nature lover, if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in one of the most interesting and diverse areas in the U.S., check out Everglades National Park, located in the southern area of Florida! With countless species of animal and plant life, as well as several fun activities, you won’t want to miss out on this wonderful national park!
The incredible Everglades National Park spans over 1.5 million acres of southern Florida, and is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals that thrive in its many ecosystems! It is the largest tropical wilderness in the U.S., and has a rich historical significance! Upon the population boom at the turn of the 20th century, the Everglades were transformed into farmland, damaging ecosystems and destroying the habitats of wildlife. Luckily, action was taken to help stop the destruction of the Everglades, however it is still a large push, met with vigorous debate, to restore more of the Everglades.
There are two different seasons in the Everglades, the dry and wet seasons. The dry season lasts from November to March, and is the best time to visit the park as the terrain isn’t as wet, and ranger programs and other accommodations are up and running! There are still plenty of areas open in the wet season, which lasts from April to November!
Things To Do
There will be no shortage of fun activities to partake in, especially in the dry season! These are just a few of the numerous activities of the Everglades National Park!
There are five different visitor’s centers located within Everglades National Park near its various entrances, and are helpful and informative on the surrounding Everglades!
Hiking And Biking
Hiking the Everglades is like multitasking, as there is a lot to see along the many hiking trails found here! There are trails of all intensities, including accessible walkways!
There are several trails in this area for walking and biking! Be sure to check out the self-guided boardwalk of West Lake Trail, which takes you through forests of various species of mangrove trees! Eco Pond is another poplar hike, as this pond is a great spot to catch frequent glimpses of different species of birds, as well as the occasional crocodile!
Shark Valley Trails
Shark Valley is a popular area of Everglades National Park with diverse plant and wildlife! Another self-guided boardwalk trail takes you through beautiful hardwood forests! The popular tram road trail takes you along the flat, paved road used for biking, walking, and trams. There’s plenty of wildlife to be seen along the road, and a great observation tower where you can look out over the great landscape!
Pine Island Trails
One of the most popular hikes of Everglades National Park is the awesome Pine Island Trail, where you will get plenty of views of wildlife, especially in the dry season when alligators and anhinga birds are breeding! The Pahayokee Overlook is another great boardwalk trail that provides stunning views!
Canoeing And Kayaking
There are also many canoe and kayak trails throughout Everglades National Park, with trips ranging from hours to days! Equipment rentals and hired guides are available if you would prefer, or set out on your own with your own equipment!
These great programs provide a more insightful and hands-on experience to your visit! There are several programs in each area of the park, each designed to help you understand and appreciate the Everglades! From bike rides, guided tours, tram tours, off-trail hiking, and much more, you’ll walk away with a deeper appreciation of this special area!
There are two great campgrounds within Everglades National Park, as well as backcountry camping! No matter what your needs are, this park has you covered!
Long Pine Key Campground
Located toward the southern region of the park, Long Pine Key Campground is a lovely choice! This seasonal campground is only open November through may, in the height of dry season! It is not unusual to see a fantastic array of wildlife around this quiet campground! There are 108 individual drive-up sites that can accommodate tents and RVs, and are available for $20 a night on a first come, first served basis! There are restrooms, water, and a dump station available, however, there are no hookups or showers at this campground, so prepare your RV accordingly!
This campground is a bit more accommodating as it is open all year, has hookups, and takes reservations! This flat camping area sits just off the Florida Bay, and you’ll be able to enjoy a nice relaxing breeze! There are 234 drive-up campsites, 65 of which are RV sites! A site with hookups will cost $30 a night, while a site without costs only $20. You can make your online reservations here!
If you’re up for some adventure, give backcountry camping a try! Available with a permit, these areas are located throughout the park with a variety of beach and ground sites. These spots can typically be accessed by boat, as they cannot be accessed by car! It is best to go backcountry camping in the winter season, as it is dryer and more comfortable! Check out the National Parks Service website for more information!
A visit to Everglades National Park is well worth your time! It is the perfect place for nature and adventure lovers alike! It is important to celebrate the diverse ecosystems protected here, so plan a trip and appreciate all the natural wonder! Share your favorite Everglades National Parks memories and tips in the comments!