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.
Visiting Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park offers outdoor experiences ranging from wheelchair-accessible boardwalks and paved trails to rugged adventures in harsh wilderness habitats.
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.
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.
Paralleling the former Homestead Canal, the Bear Lake Trail takes you on a journey through tropical hammock and mangrove forests along a road scooped from the canal diggings.
The 0.3-mile Bobcat Boardwalk at Shark Valley is a popular destination in winter and spring to see migratory and nesting birds.
The Christian Point Trail is one of the more challenging trails in Everglades National Park, leading you deep into the mangrove forest along Florida Bay.
Ready for a wilderness challenge? On the Coastal Prairie Trail, battle mosquitoes, unrelenting sun, and deep and sticky marl mud to camp at remote Clubhouse Beach.
206.3 miles. Not technically part of the Florida Trail but a connector to it, the Florida portion of the Eastern Continental Trail begins at Key West and is primary a roadwalk to the southern terminus of the Florida Trail in Big Cypress. At the Alabama border, hikers following the ECT connect with a larger system of trails terminating in Cape Gaspe, Quebec.
One of the best destinations for birding in Everglades National Park, Eco Pond sits near the end of the Main Park Road in Flamingo, with a 1/2 mile trail around it.
Southeast Florida is home to two poisonous trees, the poisonwood and the manchineel. Learn how to recognize them so you don’t get too close, and find out how truly dangerous they are.