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Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Media Contacts, 786-481-7592
In celebration of National Park Week, Saturday, April 15, thorough Sunday, April 23rd, 2017, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks are offering a variety of activities and programs. Also, wildlife viewing, bird watching and boating opportunities are terrific this time of year. National Park Week also includes Easter, Sunday, April 16, Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, and Park RX Day, Sunday, April 23. Park RX Day is a great day to participate in healthy outdoor recreation activities in a park near you.
Entrance to all U.S. National Parks is free on National Park Week weekends, April 15-16, and April 22-23; though fees for concession operated tours still apply. National Park Week is an annual national celebration of people, parks, trails, heritage areas, national trails and rivers, seashores, historic sites, beautiful landscapes, and so many more remarkable places!
The National Park Service encourages everyone to Find Your Park and make your own connection to the vast network of public lands and places that protect and preserve our natural and cultural history. It’s a great opportunity to try something new! There are hundreds of opportunities to Find Your Park at www.nps.gov/npweek.
Some of the opportunities in Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks include:
Dry Tortugas National Park
Getting there – Dry Tortugas National Park is located 70 miles West of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. It is accessible by commercial ferry, seaplane, or private boat. For more information call (305) 242-7700, or see www.nps.gov/drto
- Fort Jefferson History Tours, 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., 60 minute walking tour, daily. Explore the history and cultures of historic Ft Jefferson, the largest brick fortification ever built by the United States.
- Earth Day Responsible Fishing Program, on 4/22 at 3:00 pm. Meet a ranger on the dock for a talk about coral reefs, protected fisheries, and recreational fishing opportunities in the park, followed by an experiential lesson on the use of cast nets and fishing equipment. Fishing equipment and licenses are provided. Fun for the whole family!
Everglades National Park Schedule of Ranger Guided Tours by Area
Everglades National Park occupies one million five hundred thousand acres at the southern tip of Florida and is just minutes away from metropolitan Miami and the Florida Keys. For more information and specific directions to park entrances call (305) 242-7700, or see www.nps.gov/ever
At Royal Palm - phone (305) 242-7700
- Anhinga Amble, 10:30 am, 50-minute walk daily. Exploring the Anhinga Trail where alligators, wading birds and other wildlife can be easily and frequently spotted.
- Glades Glimpse, 1:30 pm, 20 minutes daily. Sit in the shade as a ranger reveals the amazing wonders of the Everglades. Topics vary daily. Meet at the benches at the Royal Palm Visitor Center.
- Nike Missile Site Tour, 2 pm on 4/15 and 4/16, 90 minute walking tour. Step into the Cold War for a tour of the historic Nike Missile Site. Meet at the Daniel Beard Center.
- Ten Thousand Island Boat Tour, 9:30 am on 4/15 & 16, 90 minutes. Discover the Ten Thousand Islands mangrove wilderness aboard concession operated boat tours narrated by a park ranger (concession fees apply).
- Everglades Highlights 2:00 pm on 4/15 & 16, 21 & 22, 30 Minutes. Join a ranger for a short talk about the Everglades.
- Citizen Science Bird Count & Ten Thousand Island Boat Tour, 9:30 am on 4/21, 90 minutes. Become a citizen scientist and help us conduct research by identifying and counting the birds and other animals we see while learning about the mangrove estuary on the boat tour (concession fees apply).
- Park Rx Day on 4/23 – Engage in self-guided healthy recreation activities including: 1) The South Florida National Parks Centennial Challenge Triathlon, and 2) The Tamiami Trail Triathlon, and 3) paddling the Turner River or mangrove wilderness on your own.
- Crocodile and Manatee Talk, on 4/16, 22 & 23 at 1:30 p.m., 45 minutes - Flamingo is America's "Crocodile Capital." and home to manatee. Learn about these rare animals, and maybe see the real thing! Meet at the benches below the Flamingo Visitor Center for a talk and short walk.
- Ranger Walks, 8:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., 45 minutes, daily.
- Earth Day Meteor Shower Bike Ride, on 4/22, 3 hours. Watch a rare meteor shower event over the Everglades. Call 305-221-8776 for reservations.
- Earth Day L67 Canal Bike Ride, on 4/22 at 7:30 am. Bike tour of a water management canal and unpaved berm to see wildlife in the eastern portion of Shark Valley Slough. Call 305-221-8776 for reservations
- Park Rx Day on 4/23 – Celebrate fitness outdoors! Rent a bike or bring your own to ride 7 miles to the Shark Valley Tower for a spectacular view of the Everglades wilderness and its wildlife.
Concession Operated Tours
Concession operated boat tours are offered daily at Flamingo and Gulf Coast, and tram tours are offered at Shark Valley. Airboat tours into the park are offered along US Hwy 41 east of Shark Valley. For more information call 305-242-7700, or see www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/guidedtours.htm