Tag Archives: Ten Thousand Islands

January 17, 2016 Mangrove tunnel, East River, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Florida.

Photo Gallery: Paddling the Everglades

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By Michael Lanza

I confess: Everglades National Park was not near the top of my adventure to-do list before I went there the first time, during an all-day layover in Miami waiting for a flight to Chile to trek in Patagonia. After a short hike in the park, I knew I had to return for a longer visit with my kids. My family spent our first day there paddling through a series of long mangrove tunnels on the East River (lead photo above), watching scores of exotic birds fly just overhead: snowy egrets, white ibises, black anhingas, tri-colored herons, brown pelicans, great blue herons (everything that flies here seems to have a color in its name). And we saw alligators—several of them, up to 12 feet long—floating listlessly on the river’s surface. Continue reading →

December 14, 2015 Half Dome, Liberty Cap, and Nevada Fall seen from the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park.

My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2016 already? I have four (with others in active planning stages)—and three of those are with my family, both because that’s what we like to do, and because planning months in advance and involving my family are my first two rules for getting outside more. For me, this is the time of year for pulling out maps, researching online and in my guidebooks, and poring over my list of adventures I want to take—which is now 17,076 words long and growing. I need to get busy—and so do you.

To help you out with ideas and inspiration for next year, here are my Top 10 Family Adventures at The Big Outside, a list that includes seven national parks, three amazing paddling adventures, four trips that should be on every backpacker’s to-do list, hiking an active volcano, and cross-country skiing among the greatest concentration of active geysers in the world. Continue reading →

April 27, 2015 Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park

Tent Flap With A View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

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By Michael Lanza

An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spend a night forges the memory that remains the most vivid long after you’ve gone home. A photo of that camp can send recollections of the entire adventure rushing back to you—it does for me. I’ve been very fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over more than two decades of backpacking and trekking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled the list of my favorite spots down to these 25. Continue reading →

October 26, 2012 Glades1-28 Mangrove tunnel, East River, Fakahatchee Strand, FL copy

Like No Other Place: Paddling the Everglades

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By Michael Lanza

Under a hot February sun and cloudless sky, we launch our kayaks from a tiny spot of sandy beach into the perfectly still, dark-chocolate waters of the East River in South Florida’s Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Within minutes, flocks of snowy egrets fly in close formation overhead. White ibises, black anhingas, tri-colored herons, and brown pelicans flap above the wide river and the green walls of forest on both sides. Great blue herons lift off effortlessly and glide on wings whose span equals an average human’s height. Continue reading →