The Everglades is an expansive area of land in extreme southern Florida, southwest of Miami, and southeast of Naples. The ecosystem of the Everglades is not presently found anywhere else on earth.
Everglades National Park is the third largest park in the lower 48 states, covering 2,400 square miles!
The system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, which discharges into the vast, shallow Lake Okeechobee. Water leaving the lake in the wet season forms a slow-moving river 60 miles wide and over 100 miles long, flowing southward across a limestone shelf to Florida Bay at the southern end of Florida.
| Everglades National Park
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034
Website of Everglades National Park at NPS
Even with its extreme size, it is easy to access the park's three main areas. The northern section of the park is accessible via Miami or Everglades City, the southern section is accessible through Homestead. See maps to the right, and below.
It is warm year round in South Florida! The Everglades has two distinct seasons: the dry season and wet season.
Dry season lasts from November to March, and is the busy season because of the warm winters that attract the largest variety of wading birds and their predators.
Wet season runs from April to November. Hurricane season ranges from June 1 to November 30. The wet season is buggy and many ranger programs are no longer offered. Check ahead of time for the current schedule of ranger programs.
Visiting the Everglades allows you to explore a vast diversity of flora and fauna in different eco-systems: freshwater sloughs, marl prairies, tropical hammocks, pinelands, cypress, mangrove, coastal lowlands, marine, and estuarine. There is a lot of area to discover at the Everglades, so it is vital to do your research in advance, and be prepared to make the best use of your time in the park.
We have visited the Everglades on numerous trips, and have enjoyed its many attractions, tours, trails and outdoor activities. Often we stop in the Everglades as we traverse the Tamiami Trail on our way from other nearby destinations, like Sanibel Island, the Corkscrew Swamp and the Florida Keys.
Spend a day, or more, and enjoy and explore Everglades National Park!
|Aerial view of part of Everglades National Park in southern Florida|
|Southern Terminus-Florida Trail
Young Mangrove Tree
|Mature Mangrove Swamp
There is no shortage of activities for individuals, groups, or families to enjoy outdoors. The diverse habitats allow for enjoyable activities ranging from hiking, canoeing, kayaking, biking, fresh and saltwater fishing, and camping in the ultimate wilderness.
|Boardwalk along the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park|
|Visitors watching for alligators in Everglades National Park|
The Flamingo Visitor Center offers educational displays, informational brochures, and backcountry permits. Campground facilities, a public boat ramp, a marina store, and other hiking and canoeing trails are located near the visitor center.
Plan ahead for food and other needs, as there are minimal services available in the park. Visitors traveling to Flamingo through the main entrance or by boat, need to bring adequate food and water unless planning to eat at the Buttonwood Cafe or pick up basic supplies at the marina.
The Ernest Coe Visitor Center is open 365 days a year. It offers educational displays, orientation films, and informational brochures. Special collections by local artists are often displayed. Books, film, postcards, and insect repellent may be purchased in the adjoining bookstore. A series of popular walking trails begin only a short drive from the visitor center. Restrooms are available.
Exterior view of the Ernest Coe Visitor Center
|Exhibit area in the Coe Visitor Centero
Shark Valley Visitor Center offers educational displays, a park video and informational brochures. Books, postcards, and other souvenirs are available in the gift store. Guided tram tours, bicycle rentals, snacks and soft drinks are available from Shark Valley Tram Tours, Inc. Two short walking trails (one accessible), are located off the main trail for your enjoyment. Restrooms are available.
The Gulf Coast Visitor Center serves as the gateway for exploring the Ten Thousand Islands, a maze of mangrove islands and waterways that extends to Flamingo and Florida Bay accessible only by boat in this region.
|American Alligators are plentiful in Everglades National Park ... notice the round snout|
|American Crocodile, with its pointed snout, basking in the sun in the Florida Everglades|
|Anhinga drying its wings in the Florida Everglades|
|Roseate Spoonbill hunting for food in the Florida Everglades|
|Florida Panther crossing
|Bird life is varied and plentiful ... a birdwatcher's dream!|
|Palm trees and dense vegetation in the Everglades National Park|
|Mangrove trees in the Everglades National Park|
|Cypress trees and air plants in the Everglades National Park|
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