Gulf Coast Ranger Guided Tours

A male Park Ranger wearing sunglasses and flat hat holds a microphone in one hand and points with the other. He is aboard a boat and there are four visitors watching him.
A Park Ranger narrates the boat tour of the 10,000 Islands

NPS

Gulf Coast District

Join a ranger on a tour!

Gulf Coast offers many exciting ranger guided tours! Check our park calendar to see scheduled programs. You can also check the current status of programs by calling the Gulf Coast Visitor Center at (239) 695-3311 or the main park line at (305) 242-7700.

Program Descriptions

Below are summaries of all ranger-led programs available at Gulf Coast. Most programs are offered in the dry season (November - April). Please see the park's calendar for program dates and times.Programs are free unless otherwise noted.

All programs are subject to rescheduling or cancellation in the case of inclement environmental conditions or limited staffing.

Paddling Explorations (Reservations required)
With a ranger as your guide, paddle across the bay to explore the mangrove islands or paddle inland through the waterways. If tide and weather allow, trip may include a short walk on an island. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent one from the concession. (4 hours, strenuous)

Paddle the Morning (Reservations required)
With a ranger as your guide, paddle along the coast or up Halfway Creek for a chance to explore the mangrove estuary. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent one. (2 hours, moderate)

Narrated Boat Tours (Reservations recommended, fee)
Discover the 10,000 Islands of the Gulf Coast on a large catamaran boat headed to the Gulf of Mexico! Concession-operated boat tours are narrated by a Park Ranger or volunteer, or by a concession naturalist. (1.5 hours, accessible)

Nature's Notebook Boat Tour (Reservations recommended, fee)
Become a citizen scientist! 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. Program is included as part of the 10,000 Islands Boat Tour ticket. (1.5 hours, accessible)

Nighttime Paddle (Reservations required)
With a ranger as your guide, paddle out at night under the moonlight and experience the dark side of the Everglades! Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent one. (2 hours, moderate)

Starlight Cruise(Reservations required)
Discover the night sky over the 10,000 Islands of the Gulf Coast on a large catamaran boat heading to the Gulf of Mexico! Concession-operated boat tour is narrated by a Park Ranger and a concession naturalist. (2 hours, accessible)
Stargazing by the Bay (Reservations required)
Enjoy views of the night sky over the Everglades! Park staff will guide you through the sky and relate stories and information on the cosmos. Bring binoculars if you have them. Blankets and camp chairs are welcome. (1.5 hours)

Bayside Chat
Join staff for a short talk outside on the visitor center grounds about important features of the Everglades. Ecological, historical, and environmental issues will be discussed. Learn about sawfish, mangroves, birds, pythons and much more! (20 minutes, accessible)

Nature Walk
Stroll the grounds of the Gulf Coast Visitor Center and learn what makes this area so unique. Topic and route vary by presenter. Topics include birds, trees, the National Park Service, and more! Meet in front of the visitor center. (45 minutes, easy)

Special Programs

Join us on select Saturdays throughout the busy season for a special program! Possible programs include solar astronomy demonstrations, workshops on learning to fish and paddle, Junior Ranger programs, and more! Check our park website, social media accounts or stop by the Gulf Coast Visitor Center to learn what we’re doing next! (Length and difficulty vary)

Directions to Gulf Coast

Last updated: January 1, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

40001 State Road 9336
Homestead , FL 33034

Phone:

305 242-7700

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