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The Florida Everglades

The Florida Everglades- America’s Only Sub-tropical Wilderness

If you’re looking for a truly untouched sub-tropical wilderness without having to travel beyond the continental United States, you’ll find one not excessively far away in Southern Florida.  The Florida Everglades is actually more than alligators, mosquitoes and dangerous snakes, and it is more than just a massive swamp area.  It can be described as large  and fragile ecosystem which holds numerous types of wildlife in their natural environment.

Starting during 1848 there was discussion of draining the Everglades, and many of the canals that were constructed in southern Florida assisted in marketing the real estate boom during the first half of the 20th century.  Except Mother Nature within the form of floods and hurricanes proved too much.   Subsequent to studies regarding the environmental impact of a sizable airport, it was established that the South Florida ecosystem would have been destroyed.  As a result emphasis in the 1970s turned to restoration of the Everglades.

The Florida Everglades has been Recognized by UNESCO

As of now, roughly 50% of the initial Everglades have been converted to urban and agricultural areas.  UNESCO has specified the area as wetlands of global importance; only two others around the world possess a comparable designation.  Clearly a great deal of damage has previously been done to bring the whole region to the point of breaking down, and since 2000 a plan for restoration was then put into place by the U.S. Congress.  Politics have played a role delaying the most comprehensive and costly environmental reclamation attempts in history.

Things to Do in the Everglades

There is so much to do for the family in the Everglades, and if you’re in South Florida I suggest you check out the Everglades National Park.  Here is where you will find unique and abundant wildlife that you’re going to find only within a swampy habitat such as this.  Once you visit the Ernest Coe Visitor Center, which offers orientation movies and exhibits for getting your bearings, you’ll want to be sure to consider these activities:

1.    Airboat tours.  This may never be the most peaceful strategy to tour the Everglades, but it is a lot of fun.
2.    Canoeing in the Everglades.  The park has many water trails to canoe or kayak.  Going on the water is going to let you observe much more of the park’s nature, and those transportation modes are going to be the least intrusive approach to do it.
3.    Shark Valley Observation Tower.  From here when the weather is unrestricted you’ll be able to see for miles.  It’s about seven miles from the Shark Valley Visitor Center, and you’ll be able to get there by hiking, bicycle or riding the tram.
4.    Gumbo Limbo Trail.  The half-mile hike is a paved path through a forest of for the most part gumbo limbo trees.
5.    Mahogany Hammock.  A very interesting half-mile boardwalk through one of the Glades’ one of its kind ecosystems.
6.    Anhinga Trail.  This can be described as paved trail a little less than a mile walk; it will take you all through a saw-grass marsh.
7.    Camping.  If you are into camping out, there is really a variety of camping alternatives.

If you are in South Florida, make an effort to take in this amazing natural habitat.  You won’t find anything like it in America.

Guardians of the Everglades from Sandy Cannon-Brown on Vimeo.

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