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Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Denese Canedo, 305-242-7714
On Thursday, December 21, Everglades National Park opened a temporary visitor contact station at its Gulf Coast entrance in Everglades City, just in time for the holiday visitor season. The Park’s facilities in Everglades City were severely damaged by hurricane Irma in September 2017, and most are scheduled to be demolished. “Opening a visitor contact station is a great step forward for both the Park and the people of Everglades City,” said Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos. Visitors can now get information about exploring Everglades National Park and other attractions in the region at the Gulf Coast station from 8 am to 4:30 pm daily.
The Park’s Gulf Coast site is the gateway to the 10,000 Islands region of Everglades National Park, an area that features the largest and best protected mangrove estuary in the northern hemisphere. Visitors can explore by boat or canoe. Wildlife and bird watching are excellent in the area; sightings of manatee and dolphin are common. As the mangrove forest is ideal fish habitat, the area makes for a world class recreational fishing destination. Free ranger led programs are offered daily through the end of March.
A public canoe launch at the Gulf Coast site sits as one end of the 99-mile long Wilderness Waterway running between Everglades City and Flamingo. The Wilderness Waterway features backcountry campsites on chickies, beaches and islands along the mangrove coast. A limited number of campsites are open while the Park continues to repair and restore the backcountry camps and aids to navigation. Visitors who want to camp in the backcountry must obtain a backcountry camping permit at the Gulf Coast visitor contact station, or at the Park’s Flamingo Visitor Center on Florida Bay. A backcountry trip planner and current information about camping is available on the Park’s website, at NPS.GOV/EVER.
The Gulf Coast visitor contact station is located at 815 Oyster Bar Lane, in Everglades City. Visitors should be prepared to bring their own water and be aware that the only restroom facilities on site are porta-potties. Concession services, including scheduled boat tours and canoe rentals, are expected to resume soon. Call Everglades National Park Boat Tours at 239-695-2591 for current information.
- NPS -
The National Park Service has more than 20,000 National Park Service employees who care for America’s 417 National Parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.