Ways to Tour the Swamp in the Everglades

The Everglades is a subtropical wetland which makes up 4,000 square miles of Central and Southern Florida.  During the rainy season, Lake Okeechobee overflows, creating a shallow river through the sawgrass.

The river flows south through cypress swamps, wet prairie, and mangroves until it reaches Everglades National Park and the Florida Bay. 

While development has interfered with the ecosystem, there is still a diverse selection of wildlife including panthers, bears, alligators, crocodiles, snakes, manatees, and many species of plants and birds. 

Most visitors to the area follow the 38-mile scenic drive from Ernest F Coe Visitor Center near Miami to the Flamingo Visitor center in the southernmost portion of the park.  This area features many boardwalks, picnic areas, and canoe and kayak trails.  Ten years ago, I spent a day here.  After seeing all the wildlife, I wished to return.

florida everglades national park

Day 83 – Road to Flamingo, Everglades National Park

Day 83 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

The Everglades National Park

After dropping Carol at the airport, I continued on to Wellington for another night at Page’s before heading to The Everglades National Park in the morning.  I passed by acres of farmland, some merely plowed and barren and others planted with vegetables and fruit.  The Everglades in Southern Florida span over 4,000 square miles.  The area is so large that the 1.5 million acre National Park occupies only 20% of the area.  The widest river in the world, 50 miles, slowly flows through the grassy wetlands whose highest elevation reaches only ten feet.