Every fall, the skies over the Florida Keys fill with thousands of birds from hundreds of species heading south for the winter. A remarkable citizen science project, Hawkwatch, based in Curry Hammock State Park, keeps a tally. The star of the show here is the peregrine falcon, seen here in numbers unmatched by any other US location.
Five off-the-beaten-track things to do outdoors in the natural Florida in 2020, away from crowds. From rivers to bike trails to great places to camp. What’s on your bucket list?
Egmont Key is a wild island off Tampa Bay that has figured in two centuries of Florida history. A stunning wildlife refuge with evocative ruins, it is reached by ferry from Fort DeSoto Park. The best time to visit is Discover the Island weekend, Nov. 9-10, 2019, when programs and amenities help you appreciate this special spot.
Florida Caverns is the last of 31 state parks to reopen in the wake of 2018’s Hurricane Michael. While the park’s day-use area, and nearby Chipola River are open, the park’s campground remains closed.
Florida’s longest non-motorized trail begins at Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola to Key West and then up the east coast to the Georgia state line. Changes made to to the 322-page guide include overnight accommodations, including Mexico Beach where one motel is set to reopen in 2020 while another will not be rebuilt in the wake of Hurricane Michael.
We love museums and we love freebies, so this is our kind of day. Participating attractions, some normally charging up to $25 admission, are free by downloading a ticket from Smithsonian Magazine.
Recreational lobstering doesn’t end with the two-day mini-season in July. For many, it just begins in earnest with the start of the regular season, from August 6 until March 31.
Severe damage from hurricanes in 2017 (Irma) and 2018 (Michael) are still impacting a handful of Florida state parks. Early predictions point to a lower threat this year, but it only takes one.