The Everglades unique ecosystem of swamps and marshes is home to some rare
and endangered animals such as the manatee, egrets, bald eagle and the
crocodile. It is the second largest US national park (Yellowstone is #1) and
the largest subtropical wilderness in the continental US. There are trails
for hiking or biking, and The Wilderness Waterway, a 99-mile network of water
routes for canoeing or kayaking.
Touring by water is one of the best ways to experience the Everglade's many
tiny islands (called 10,000 Islands) and the lush tropical scenery. Rangers
can help you sign up with a guided tour or create your own itinerary.
Large boat tours are available from Everglades National Park Boat Tours
(941-695-2591, 800 445-7724.)
The Majestic Everglades Excursion (941 695-2777) offers a six passenger
pontoon boat for inexpensive half day trips (good for children.)
Canoes and kayaks can be rented in Everglades City at North American Canoe
Tours (941) 695-3299 and at The Flamingo Lodge Marina & Outpost Resort in
Flamingo (800) 600-3813) or (941) 695-3101.
Hiking is another way to view the Everglades. A 17-mile trail between the
Shark Valley Visitor Center entrance takes you to the Shark Valley
Observation Tower for a panoramic view of the park.
Bicycle rentals are available from the entrance to the park or for the less
energetic, the Shark Valley Tram will take you on a 15-mile tour for a fee.
Camping is allowed (some at no cost) as well as hotels, hostels and B & B's
A houseboat is an affordable lodging option if there are a few people to
share the cost. Pontoon boats can sleep six to eight people and cost around
$300 per night. The Flamingo Lodge rents houseboats as well as canoes and
kayaks (see above "Touring by Water".)