Everglades

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.

Ochopee: Cutest, smallest post office in the US

Ochopee: Cutest, smallest post office in the US

A scenic road through Everglades National Park also brings you past a cute little roadside stop: the smallest post office in the US. In an era where post offices are being closed to save money, this little outpost dating to 1953 is a survivor.

Everglades National Park: Eco-friendly cabins, lodge, bike trails proposed for Flamingo

Everglades National Park: Eco-friendly cabins, lodge, bike trails proposed for Flamingo

Flamingo, once a place to stay ovenight or dine while exploring Everglades National Park, was destroyed in two 1995 hurricanes. Now, the National Park Service has a plan to make it a showcase of eco-tourism, with bike trails, eco-tents and cabins.