The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, Everglades National Park protects a massive watershed that serves as a refuge to a unique assemblage of wildlife. The mosaic of habitats found within the Greater Everglades Ecosystem supports a diverse community of plant and animal species found nowhere else on the planet. Everglades National Park offers many difficult, but rewarding paddling opportunities to explore the natural beauty of freshwater marshes, mangrove forests, and the open waters of Florida Bay. You can see herons, egrets, cormorants, and other birds flying by. Look for floating “logs” with eyes – you might see shy alligators amongst the cattails. Gorgeous and strange plants thrive in the different freshwater, brackish, and saltwater communities accessible by paddling trails.
Canoe and kayak trips in Everglades National Park range from a few hours to several days, depending on the length and complexity of the trail. The park’s website provides detailed maps and instructions for popular canoe and kayak trails. Available at certain times during the year, ranger-led paddling trips through Ten Thousand Islands are a great way to learn about the park’s natural and cultural history.