Come Celebrate National Parks Week at Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks!
Contact: Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Media Contact Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Superintendent Dan Kimball announced that Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks will have free admission during National Park Week,
April 17 to 25. "We hope that this celebration will motivate our neighbors and visitors in Homestead and the Florida Keys to get out and rediscover these two wonderful places in south Florida," said Kimball.
National Park Week, a program of the National Park Service, is an opportunity to engage families and communities in America’s Great Outdoors, reconnecting them with nature and creating close to home opportunities for people to get outside, be active, and have fun. "We are rolling out the red carpet and inviting everyone to visit a national park and help celebrate National Park Week," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "Parks are fun and affordable destinations and great places to engage in healthy, outdoor activities, whether for a few hours or a few days."
"National parks preserve our heritage, promote recreational experiences, provide places of quiet refuge," said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. "Most people live within a short drive of a national park so I encourage everyone to spend some time enjoying America’s Great Outdoors during National Park Week.
Dry Tortugas National Park
A variety of remarkable experiences await visitors who venture out to this remote national Park, including camping, snorkeling, birdwatching, fishing, or just enjoying a view from the top of massive Fort Jefferson-- you quickly realize how magical this place can be.
Ferries will waive park entrance fees of $5 this entire week
Ferries run daily to the park from Key West
For ferry schedules, prices, and reservations, contact:
Sunny Days: phone 800-236-7937 or 305-292-6100; on the internet at www.drytortugas.com.
Yankee Freedom: phone 800-634-0939 or 305-294-7009; on the internet at www.yankeefreedom.com.
Fishing and dive charters can be arranged in the Florida Keys and Naples. For a list of services, contact the park at 305-242-7700.
Everglades National Park
Tram Tours - Buy one tram tour excursion and get second at half off! call 305-221-8455
These tours run every hour on the hour from 9am to 4pm - Contact
Ranger talk Our popular "Shark Bite"talk (20 minutes) daily at 2:15 pm (no charge)
Daily Boat Tours out into the 10,000 islands of Florida Bay - Call (239) 695-2591
4/17 & 4/18 - Ranger-led canoe trips
Canoe Explorations (4 hours) - 10 am to 2 pm. With a ranger as your guide, take a half day paddle through the Ten Thousand Islands. We’ll look for wildlife, paddle through mangroves and learn about the park’s natural and cultural history. If tide and weather allow, trip may include a walk on an island. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent one. Call the Gulf Coast Visitor Center for additional information and to make reservations (239-695-3311).
4/18 - 4/21 Ranger guided walk (no charge)
Nature Walk (35 minutes) - 4:15 pm. Learn about the plants and animals of the area. Meet in front of the visitor center.
Boat Tours available daily into Florida Bay and the Back Country call 239-695-3101 for fees and reservations
Florida Bay tours 11:30, 1:30, 3:30, and 5:30
Back Country Boat tours 10:30, 12:30, 2:30, and 4:30
Ranger Talk 2:30 daily 239-695-2945 (no charge)
Flamingo Visitor Center - check at Visitor Center for program topics
Coe Visitor Center - Short Films Daily along with wonderful park exhibits - (no charge)
Daily - America’s Best Idea (30 minutes) 2:00 pm Meet the people behind the National Parks through the lens of legendary filmmaker Ken Burns and through local PBS specials. Ernest Coe Visitor Center auditorium.
Sun, Tue, Thu & Fri: Into the Wild– Miami’s Roberts family embarks on a camping adventure in this hilarious Everglades reality show.
Mon: America’s Best Idea Highlight– A stunning preview to the 12 hour series.
Wed: Untold Stories– Discover the extraordinary dedication and surprising diversity of the men and women who defined the National Parks
Sat: Nature’s Helping Hands– Experience the rewards of volunteering in Everglades National Parks.
After visiting the Coe Visitor Center head into the park free for one of these special activities - All available daily April 17 - 24
Anhinga Amble (50 minutes) 10:30 am
Interested in seeing wildlife? Join a Ranger in exploring the Anhinga Trail where alligators, wading birds and other wildlife can be easily and frequently spotted. Meet at the Royal Palm benches.
Pa-Hay-Okee (30 minutes) 1:30 pm
A short boardwalk to one of the highest points in the Everglades offers sweeping views of the river of grass. Meet at the Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook Parking Lot. Bring your camera!
Gator Spy (30 minutes) 3:30 pm
This short walk is all about alligators. Meet at the Royal Palm benches.
Did You Know?
Fort Jefferson served for a time as a remote prison facility. One of its most famous inmates was none other than Dr. Samuel Mudd, who set the leg of John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of President Lincoln. Mudd was incarcerated on the Dry Tortugas for only four years, from 1865 to 1869.