The Florida Everglades: a Unique Wilderness Destination
Have you ever wanted to visit a place that can't be found anywhere else on Earth? Try the Florida Everglades! This unique subtropical wetlands environment is unlike any other, and comprises mangrove forests, sawgrass prairies, hardwood hammocks, cypress forests, marine estuaries, and more. The Everglades extends over one and a half million acres and is the largest wilderness area to be found east of the Mississippi River.
The Everglades National Park reaches right up to the edges of the surrounding cities, meaning you have several choices when it comes to how far you go into the park. You can choose to stay relatively close to civilization, or go deeper into the Glades, where you can achieve pure solitude in some very remote, beautiful areas that look like they came from the distant, prehistoric past. There's a lot to see in the Everglades, and you could spend days exploring this incredibly diverse environment.
The Everglades covers almost the whole southern tip of the Florida peninsula, so there are multiple points of entry. It's important to note that these entrances don't connect to each other through the park and there's hours of driving between them, so you need to choose early on which one you want to enter through. You can find a map and other information on the National Park Service's Everglades website that can help you plan your trip. Make sure you're aware of the dry season and wet season! The timing of your trip will greatly affect what kinds of experiences are available to you.
The different areas of the Everglades offer a range of activities including trails, Shark Valley's 65-foot-tall observation tower, airboats, and tour boats. Or, you can strike off on your own and take in the world surrounding you. Go biking, canoeing, hiking, or camping surrounded by hundreds of unique plants and flowers. Watch dramatic sunsets unlike any other. Enjoy viewing incredibly diverse wildlife including alligators, crocodiles, bobcats, deer, rabbits, bats, foxes, otters, turtles, unusual fish, tons of frogs, hundreds of birds, and maybe even the endangered Florida panther! There are snakes, too, so be aware and be careful. Bears have been spotted too!
All this wildlife means a rare treat for any bird or animal lover, but since this is a wilderness area, you're in their habitat and some animals can be quite dangerous when they feel threatened. Bears are not usually hostile but don't like to be surprised, especially if they have young nearby. Panthers would rather hide from you than attack, but if accidentally cornered they will defend themselves. Alligators and crocodiles are actually pretty serene most of the time and they'll stay away from you if you stay away from them, but remain at a distance and never disturb their hatchlings or nests. Venomous snakes and poisonous plants can be harder to see and avoid, so ensure you follow the correct safety precautions at all times.
Don't let these warnings frighten you away, though the world of the Everglades is overwhelmingly beautiful and you could take several trips before you've seen all it has to offer. Just be prepared, and bring a satellite phone with you in case you get lost or need to call for emergency help. The Iridium network works well.
Feel free to contact Outfitter Satellite for more network information, and enjoy your trip to one of the most beautiful and diverse wildernesses on Earth!