The rare and endangered Florida panther makes its home in the wilds of the western Everglades and the Big Cypress Swamp, much of the area preserved in protected state and federal lands accessible to hikers.
This little creek should be famous. Its magnificent tree canopy and unspoiled Old Florida feel offer kayakers great natural beauty and wildlife, all in an easy, accessible day paddle.
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.
Load your bikes on your carrier and head north to Old Florida. Along this bike trail, you can stop and hike a bit and maybe even see gators, wild horses or even bison in Paynes Prairie. This pretty paved trail also lets you use your gears on a hill or two.
This Gainesville area state park is a vast playground for hikers and bikers, but also for bison, wild horses and, sometimes, thousands of sandhill cranes.
Development is creeping up on Spruce Creek and Strickland Bay, but enough has been preserved — for now — to enjoy an awesome day of kayaking. (Watercolor by Stewart Jones)
Robbie’s Marina is a don’t-miss stop as you drive through the Florida Keys. Dozens of tarpon, some more than 6 feet long, gather at the dock and lunge for fish from visitors. The restaurant there, the Hungry Tarpon, is highly recommended , too.
Driving through the Florida Keys, you are sure to see the warnings for Key deer — but you may not see the deer themselves. There are some sure-fire ways to do see the little fellows, though, and one of them is an evening bike ride on No Name Key.