Everglades

Anhinga

Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge: Window to the Everglades

BOYNTON BEACH — About 260 species of birds and waterfowl find their way here throughout the year, and you can find them by hiking, biking or paddling the canoe trail.

Loop Road: Storied road through Everglades is full of wildlife

Loop Road: Storied road through Everglades is full of wildlife

Loop Road is famous for being a wild place. (That once applied to the people as well as the animals.) It’s a gravel road off the Tamiami Trail in the Everglades. If you’re not in a hurry, it’s a rewarding place to explore.

Hoop Dance (Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org)

Seminoles’ American Indian Arts Celebration: Nov. 4 – 5, 2016

The festival offers tradition — fry bread and alligator wrestling — but also celebrates the diversity of native cultures. Entertainers include a well-known hoop dancer.

Bicyclists ride through water at The Shark Valley section of Everglades National Park. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Everglades Shark Valley 2016: Lots of water, much less wildlife

Whereas the waterways along the paved path in Shark Valley normally teem with wildlife in winter, this year gators and birds are harder to spot. You’ll see some — just not in abundance. It’s all a result of a very wet January and the South Florida Water Management District sending a flow of water through Shark Valley for the first time in decades.

At Shark Valley in early January, this pair were so close, you had to walk to the other side of the paved path to avoid crowding them. (Never crowd a Mama Gator!) There were six oher young gators in the grass around Big Mama.

Shark Valley at Everglades National Park: Great bike trail; terrific wildlife

This entrance to Everglades National Park has one trail, but it’s so special that Shark Valley is hard to top. It’s an especially great place to bicycle.

Everglades kayak trail: Halfway Creek off Tamiami Trail is all about the plants

Everglades kayak trail: Halfway Creek off Tamiami Trail is all about the plants

Halfway Creek is a well-marked kayak trail just off the Tamiami Trail. It’s good for short or long paddles, taking you to a wild green world thick with airplants.

Mangrove tunnel that connects Coot Bay to Mud Lake is among best scenery on this kayak or canoe paddle in Everglades National Park.

Canoe or kayak Everglades National Park: Coot Bay and Mud Lake trail

Our Everglades National Park paddle on the Coot Bay/Mud Lake trail offered two hours of gorgeous scenery through magical mangrove tunnels. It also required about two hours of hard paddling against the wind.

Sandbar off Jewel Key (Photo by Angie Chestnut)

Ten Thousand Islands: Ride the tide through Indian Key Pass

EVERGLADES CITY — Whitewater paddling in the Everglades? Well, almost. The tides move in and out of the Ten Thousand Islands so quickly, the water rushes and ripples through the passes, so you need to catch the current going in the right direction if you want to make headway.

The prototype Flamingo eco-tent

Everglades National Park tests cross between tent/cabin at Flamingo

Everglades National Park is testing a new structure called an eco-tent. It’s a prototype of lodging that could be coming to Flamingo. Right now, you can rent the eco-tent and be part of the experiment.

Lazy Day on the beach at Panther Key

Beach camping in the wild Ten Thousand Islands

EVERGLADES CITY — One of my favorite Florida getaways is to boat out to the outer islands and camp for a weekend on a remote, pristine beach fronting the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida panther kittens. Photo courtesy National Park Service

Why biologist won’t forget Florida panther kitten K322

The wildlife experts who monitor Florida Panthers try to keep a clinical tone in discussing them. They don’t name them, referring to them instead by number — K322, for example, was a kitten born this spring. But their field notes can’t mask the deep feelings stirred by working with these endangered animals, and K322 is a panther kitten they will remember.

The sky reflected along  Nine Mile Pond canoe trail

Everglades canoe trail: Exploring Nine Mile Pond

A canoe or kayak trail at Everglades National Park is a perfect way to surround yourself with the sights, sounds and creatures of the Everglades. On our recent trip, a 15-foot crocodile smiled as we paddled by.

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