The Everglades

 

The Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. One of North America's wild unsung places, the wetlands boast rare and endangered species such as the American crocodile, Florida panther and West Indian manatee.

The Everglades National Park 
  contains 25% of the original Everglades marshland region of Southwestern Florida.

Designated an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage sight and a Wetland of National Importance The Everglades remain a place of great beauty and mystery.
 
The Everglades consist of a slow moving system of rivers, flowing Southwest atabout a quarter mile per day fed by the Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee. The natural cycle of freshwater circulation built up in the shallow Lake Okeechobee that averages around 12 feet deep and covers 730 square miles. This overflow started the growth of the wide, shallow "River of Grass", as big as fifty miles wide in places and 6 inches to three feet deep. 

For much of its past, charted exploration of the Everglades was prevented by the dense growth of sawgrass and the rainy climate, creating its mysterious reputation.  The easily navigated waters surrounding the everglades have been filled with sightings of mermaids throughout history, most folklore experts believe that what the sailors were really seeing were the air-breathing manatees common in this region.

Although humans have lived in the area for thousands of years, it was not until 1848 that the region began to be drained for agricultural or residential use, and water flow from Lake Okeechobee was controlled and diverted to the South Florida Metropolitan area.
 
Tourists and locals alike flock to the everglades to see the "keepers of the Everglades", the alligator  in its natural habitat. A guided EcoTour is an ideal way to get close and see everthing the everglades have to offer. Kayak, canoe or airboat through the mangrove canopies and explore the unique native landscape with one of the many local companies:

Everglades Holiday Park offers airboat tours, fishing, camping and much more! Let one of their guides take you on an unfogettable private tour of the Everglades.

Jungle Adventures Nature Park takes you on an adventure through a jungle swampland inhabited by rare wildlife and over 200 hundred alligators. They also have a replica 16th century Spanish Fort and Indian Village to explore.

Captain Victoria is a marine biologist with 34 years as a wilderness tour guide under her belt. Enjoy magical relaxing dolphin adventures with the Dancing Water Spirit Charters.

The Everglades Day Safari tours focus on conserving the environment and promoting responsible travelling while experiencing the natural wonder of one of the most diverse eco-systems in the United States.

Coopertown Airboats tours have been used for more than just tourists or locals checking out the Everglades. They have a long list of TV and movie productions they are proud to have been a part of.

If a one day tour isn't enough time to explore the area, you can really get a feel for the land when you extend your stay and camp in one of three campgrounds available at the Everglades National Park.