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Everglades Florida - Sports and Outdoors

Boat Tours

Everglades Boat Tours and Boat Assisted Kayak Eco Tours - Everglades Boat Tours is "Dedicated to the experiential education of students, families and travelers from Florida, the Americas and the World. Only through education, do we have the opportunity to preserve the Everglades, its culture and its heritage". The only operator in Everglades National Park to be certified by the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism (SEE).

Fishing

Chokoloskee Charters - Florida Everglades National Park guided fishing adventures. Fish Everglades National Park & 10,000 Islands. Light Tackle and Fly Fishing in the pristine waters of the Everglades Backcountry. Over one million acres of sheltered waters, excellent year round weather, fine accommodations, a richly diverse fishery ... A traveling fisherman's ideal destination!

Parks and Preserves

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park


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Take a stroll down the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk and step into the interior of the world’s only Bald Cypress-Royal Palm Forest where you’re likely to spot Otter, American Alligators, Florida Box Turtles, and perhaps a Bald Eagle pair and their fledgling chick.

An eleven-mile drive down Jane’s Scenic Drive truly showcases the park’s different natural communities. Buttonbush and Glades Morning Glory have responded to recent rains and they’re in full bloom. You’ll spot butterflies ranging from the Zebra Longwing and Ruddy Daggerwing to the White Peacock and the Common Buckeye as they flit from plant to plant along the drive. Don’t forget to look up where you’ll spot Red-shouldered hawks, Swallow Tail kites, Northern harriers, Osprey and perhaps even the Everglades Snail Kite. Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes, the Florida cottonmouth and other reptiles can be seen sunning themselves on the side of the road as well. And of course, keep an eye out for White-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat and the Florida panther.
Location: Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is located on Janes Memorial Scenic Drive, just west of Copeland on S.R. 29.
Open 8 am until sundown 365 days a year
Admission is Free
Phone: 239-695-4993

Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve, established in 1974, was the first preserve within the National Park System and currently covers more than 2400 square miles of the Big Cypress Swamp in southwest Florida. "Big" refers not to the size of the trees within the preserve, but to the area covered by cypress. In addition to cypress, the diverse subtropical landscape includes islands of slash pine, mixed hardwood hammocks (tree islands), wet and dry prairies, marshes, estuarine mangrove forests, and amazing quantities of bromeliads and orchids. Water follows a gentle declining slope of two inches per mile as it flows slowly south toward the Gulf of Mexico, allowing the rich array of vegetation to thoroughly clean the water before it reaches the mangrove wilderness of the Ten Thousand Islands in Everglades National Park. Wading birds such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, limpkin, and a variety of egrets and herons are residents, delighting visitors as they gather to feed on aquatic creatures concentrated in pools and canals along Tamiami Trail and elsewhere in the preserve during the winter dry season. Alligators, manatees, white-tailed deer, black bear, and the endangered Florida panther also make the preserve their home.

Big Cypress National Preserve is a land of primeval beauty unlike any other in the United States. Friends of the Big Cypress National Preserve acknowledges the wisdom and foresight of the preserve's founders and we pledge to do our part to ensure the preserve is here for future generations to enjoy.

Big Cypress National Preserve Oasis Visitor Center
HCR 61 Box 110 ~ Ochopee, Fl 34141
Phone: 239-695-1201
Hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm

    Trails

    Florida Trail
    The Preserve includes 31 miles of the Florida Trail. The Florida Trail that stretches through the Preserve can be very wet in the rainy season. The Florida Trail can be reached by entering it at the Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center.

    Tree Snail Hammock Nature Trail
    This is a short, self-guided trail located on Loop Road.

    Canoe Trail

    Turner River
    A launch site for canoes and kayaks is being built on the north side of Hwy 41. Currently, everyone launches and parks their vehicles along the south side of Hwy 41 near the river.

    Boardwalks

    Oasis Visitor Center
    A short boardwalk is at the Oasis Visitor Center.

    H.P. Williams Picnic Area
    A short boardwalk at the picnic area, located at the crossroads of Hwy 41 and CR 839 (Turner River Road).

    Kirby Storter Wayside Park
    A lengthy boardwalk is at this site located along the south side of Hwy 41 in the Preserve.

    Roads

    Loop Road
    Loop Road is a 26-mile, single-lane, unimproved road connected to Hwy 41 near Monroe Station (Collier County) and ending on the eastern side of the Preserve on Hwy 41 in Dade County.

    Turner River Road/Birdon Road Scenic Loop
    This road is a 17 mile graded-dirt drive beginning at the H.P. Williams Picnic Area on Hwy 41. Drive north on Turner River Road, west on Wagon Wheel Road, and south onto Birdon Road ending up back at Hwy 41. Turner River Road continues north toward Bear Island Camprground area.

Ranger Led Activities at Big Cypress Preserve - Click Here »

How to get to the Big Cypress National Preserve Oasis Visitor Center, located in the center of the Preserve:

From the west coast of Florida:

South on I-75 to exit 80 (also Hwy 29) turn right (south). When you reach a blinking light at the intersection of Hwy 41 (Tamiami Trail) turn left (east) and you are in the Preserve. From the intersection of Hwy 29 and Hwy 41 the Oasis Visitor Center is approximately 23 miles east on Hwy 41. There are no gas stations in the Preserve, so if you need gas be sure to get some at the intersection of Hwy 29 and Hwy 41.

From the east coast of Florida:

Exit onto Hwy 41 (Tamiami Trail) going west. When you reach the intersection where the Indian Gambling Casino is located, continue west on Hwy 41. From the gambling casino it is approximately 30 miles to the edge of the Preserve. The Oasis Visitor Center is approximately 38 miles west of the Indian Gambling Casino on Hwy 41. There is gas at the corner where the Indian Gambling Casino is located and also in the Indian Reservation, but none in the Preserve, so if you need gas be sure to get some.

History of Big Cypress - Click Here



Americans are falling in love with Mother Nature all over again, which could be why ownership of boats and recreational vehicles is more popular than ever. If you own a boat or RV, do you use it frequently, or is it sitting in your driveway? It's time to get the most out of it, and with a few simple ideas, you'll be able to hit the road and create some wonderful family memories.

From pop-up to fifth wheel, U.S. ownership of RVs has reached record levels, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, with about 8.9 million households owning an RV. Boating is also as popular as ever, with purchases of power boats increasing throughout 2012 and into 2013, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Smaller boats like pontoons, fishing boats and jet skis make up 96 percent of the 12.4 million registered boats in the U.S...read more »


 

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Featured

Everglades Kayak Fishing
PO Box 670, Everglades City, FL 34139, TELEPHONE 239-695-9107.
Kayak Fishing - The fastest growing segment of sports fishing. Everglades Kayak Fishing maintains a fleet of state-of-the art Heritage Redfish 12's and the Native Watercraft "Ultimate" (for the fly fisherman). Extremely stable and completely rigged for fishing, we provide you the best equipment available to safely access the remote, seldom fished areas of Everglades National Park.

Big Cypress Preserve Activities:


Ranger Led Activities at Big Cypress

Big Cypress Campgrounds:


Burns Lake Campground
Monument Lake Campground
Midway Campground
Other Campgrounds

Article: Big Cypress National Preserve

GUIDED CANOE TRIPS
Collier-Seminole State Park

Date: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, December 14, 2011 to April 18th, 2012
Description:
Learn about the mangrove estuaries in southwest Florida as you enjoy a guided canoe trip down the Blackwater River at Collier-Seminole State Park with one of the park naturalists. All equipment is provided. Bring your own water, food, or protection from the sun. Any electronic devices such as cell phones or cameras should be sealed in watertight containers. Limit 16 people per trip. Age requirements: 6 years old and above. No trips December 24th & 25th, January 1st or February 10th and 11th.
Participation Requirements
Fees: $25 per person.
Contact: Collier-Seminole State Park (239) 394-3397
Directions:
  Collier-Seminole State Park is located on U.S. 41, eight miles south of County Road 951 (Collier Boulevard).
  From Tampa on I-75 South, take exit 101 (state Road 951 & state Road 84) and turn right. Follow state Road 951 to U.S. 41. Turn left on US 41 and the Collier-Seminole State Park will be eight miles on the right, just past county Road 92.
  Going west from Fort Lauderdale, take exit 80 (state Road 29), go south to 41 and turn right. Follow 41 for about 15 miles, and the Collier-Seminole State Park will be on your left.