Although John is a native Floridian, our research trip to South Florida became an opportunity for him to see many natural “firsts” in Florida that most people have on their life lists.
Set in a 60-acre cypress dome on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum of Seminole culture provides an introduction to the tropical outdoors of natural South Florida’s swamps in which the Seminole Tribe has lived for more than a century.
In spring, alligators become more active as the days warm up. It’s also mating season, so alligators are on the move. Expect to see them anywhere and everywhere along Florida’s trails.
At Amberjack Environmental Park, a surprising collision of scrub and mangrove habitats occurs in Rotunda in the Cape Haze peninsula of Charlotte County.
At Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, the Ancient Hammock Trail shows off the glory of towering cabbage palms and live oaks up to a thousand years old and more
For most visitors, the Anhinga Trail is their first glimpse into Everglades National Park. It’s short, and the alligators are right there: hard to miss.
In the heart of Florida’s cattle ranching country, Arcadia sits along the Peace River, which offers up an array of public lands for outdoor recreation.
At Babcock Wilderness Adventures – a popular ecotourism attraction east of Punta Gorda – the Ecotour Trail is a no-cost option to getting your feet wet on an exploration of wet flatwoods habitats along a well-maintained trail through the palmetto prairie.
Following old forest roads, the purple-blazed loop of the Footprints Trail through the heart of Babcock Ranch, a vast prairie punctuated by cypress strands, provides a simple introduction to this often-squishy ecosystem.
Providing a walk through the mangrove-lined edge of Florida Bay and the unique coastal prairie habitat within a short loop, the Bayshore Loop takes you what’s left of the fishing village of Flamingo.