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Southeast Florida

Everglades National Park Hell’s Bay Kayak Trail: The name is a hint

Whoever named this kayak trail Hell’s Bay was giving you a hint: It won’t be easy. During National Parks Week at the end of April, I paddled this forbiddingly named trail. It’s mile after mile of mangroves with tight twists and turns that make going slow. If you’re heading for a backcountry camping site — a chickee on a platform in the middle of the Everglades wilderness — then this trail is worth the trouble. If not, well, I have some suggestions for you.

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Loxahatchee River: Kayak a wild, scenic river in South Florida

Within an hour’s drive of the urban tangle of South Florida, one of Florida’s two nationally designated “wild and scenic” rivers meanders through a spectacularly lovely cypress swamp. Recently, Jupiter Outdoor Center re-opened the kayak and canoe rental operation in Riverbend Park, allowing visitors to paddle the best section of the river.

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Wellington’s Peaceful Waters: Top birding spot, close to two good nature hikes

Peaceful Waters Sanctuary is an outstanding birding site and a particularly good destination for nature-starved folks from Broward and Palm Beach counties. It’s also close to two good places for 3-mile-long walks in natural settings.

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A day exploring the Redland: Agriculture and rustic charm thrive near Miami

The historic agricultural area surrounding the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park offers so many cool experiences — a park where you can see and sample exotic fruits, free tours of a spectacular orchid grower’s estate, a local tropical-fruit winery and famous fruit milkshakes and cinnamon rolls.

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Biking Jupiter Island: Oceanfront road has views of mansions, little traffic

Jupiter Island offers a scenic two-lane beachfront road with well-kept landscaping, very little traffic and excellent biking. It goes on for mile after mile past the estates of the rich and famous. And you can build in a stop at a hidden beach.

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