The Everglades cover 1.5 million acres of South Florida. Everglades National Park is the third largest national park in the 48 contiguous states and is host to many species of animals that are endemic to the area. From camping to fishing to off-trail hiking, the outdoor activities in the Everglades are limitless. To make the most of your time there, follow these tips when planning your Everglades adventure.
Boating in the Wetlands
Once you have the basics planned for your Everglades trip, you can undertake an epic boating adventure in one of the areas of the National Park. While boating in the Everglades is not for beginners, there are beautiful sights if you are a skilled sailor. For those who are not-so-skilled or if you don’t have your own boat, there are guided tours available as well.
A guided boating excursion is a great way to enjoy the sights without the stress of navigating unfamiliar territory. To get even more up close and personal with the natural beauty of the wetlands, you can choose instead to kayak or canoe through the waterways, either for a few hours or an all-day expedition. Like boating, these can be led by a guide or done on your own.
Everglades (and Nearby) Hunting
There are many opportunities for hunters in and around the Everglades. Many of these opportunities are on private land near the park, but are easily accessible from your lodgings near the park. From mid-August to November, you can obtain permits to hunt alligators in public waters, and guides are available for night hunting. There is also deer, wild boar, and bird hunting (turkey, duck, dove) on private lands nearby, depending on the season.
The state of Florida has sponsored a Python Eradication Program and hired contractors with snake hunting experience to go after the Burmese pythons in the area. The Burmese python is an invasive species that has contributed significantly to a decline in native wildlife in the Everglades. These contracted hunters have taken down snakes with whole animals as large as deer in their stomachs. If you’re able to be in the right place at the right time, you may be able to catch a glimpse of a fresh catch!
In addition to boating and hunting, the Everglades provides thousands of acres of land to explore on foot, if hiking is your speed. Gear up and head out to explore the hiking trails lined with breathtaking flora and fauna. If the thought of off-trail hiking doesn’t curl your toes, you can take a guided “slough slogging” tour and see parts of the park that few people ever experience.
Whether you are a seasoned sailor, an enthusiastic hunter, or just love to explore the outdoors, the Everglades has an abundance of activities for everyone. One can occupy themselves for weeks with so much space to explore and activities to pursue. With a multitude of lodging options nearby and Miami International Airport within an hour, you can easily plan an unforgettable outdoors adventure vacation.