When it’s chilly, you can see dozens of manatees at this free park. Even without manatees, the Orange River is a beautiful kayak trail through Old Florida scenery.
Post Tagged with: "wildlife"
The Tamiami Trail, linking Miami and Florida’s west coast, gets you close to alligators, cypress swamps and Everglades scenery. It also offers outstanding stops along the way, particularly the Shark Valley area of Everglades National Park.
One of the best places to see wood storks and other wading birds nesting up close in winter is Wakodahatchee Preserve in Delray Beach. In February and March, dozens of storks build nests close to an easy-to-walk .75 mile boardwalk.
Everglades National Park is vast and there are many deep-into-the-wild places to explore. But one of my favorite Everglades experiences is Shark Valley off the Tamiami Trail west of Miami. The 15-mile loop path is the best traffic-free scenic bicycle trail in South Florida.
If you’re lucky, you can see manatees in lots of waterways around Florida, but here are a few locations where, in winter, you can reliably admire these charming creatures — and even kayak with them.
Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is a year-round refuge for birds and other living things, from the dazzling roseate spoonbills to the American bald eagle. During the fall migration, birding is especially good.
Marineland was the original oceanarium and the first to discover you could train dolphins to perform. Read its fascinating history, an excerpt from the new book, “A New Guide to Old Florida Attractions: From Mermaids to Singing Towers,” by Doug Alderson.
This gorgeous, wild, winding river is well-known in Florida, but can only be paddled when water levels are high enough — and that’s right NOW. This river belongs on the bucket list of those who love the Florida outdoors.
Myakka is one of the oldest and biggest state parks, a great place for seeing wildlife, from huge gators to flocks of birds in winter. Go here for its log cabins, appealing camp sites, excellent kayaking, extensive hiking and good bike trails. It’s also a good spot for nature neophytes, who enjoy the airboat ride and canopy walk.
The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail is a guide to 500+ places. It’s a great tool for discovery. I used it to find a colony of burrowing owls in an unlikely spot — a city park in the middle of overbuilt Broward County.