Like No Other Place: Paddling the Everglades

In Family Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

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.

A little while ago, when we turned off US 41 onto an unmarked dirt road, just a few miles north of the boundary of Everglades National Park, a small, homemade sign nailed to a tree greeted us with the message: “Welcome to the real Florida.” Although the driving directions I received for this put-in on the East River seemed to invite error—they were of the “turn left past the end of the guardrail” variety—that sign made me think we’d landed in the right place.

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2 Responses to Like No Other Place: Paddling the Everglades

  1. Dave K   |  May 16, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Contact me if you’re interested in a 5-Day Complete Everglades Loop Tour through all of the Everglades habitats staying every type of campsite! We work with Shurrs and Ivey House to operate guided multi-day trips. We offer 3-5-8-day fully outfitted and guided overnight kayak camping tours in the backcountry of Everglades NP.
    Dave K
    Florida Outdoor Adventures

  2. Jen Woods Medford, New Jersey   |  August 30, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I love to snorkel and Florida is the best place to snorkel. I have been snorkeling in fresh waters lakes in Florida for over 25 years. There are so many pretty fish and turtles. I have started to snorkel in the Everglades. There are so many cute little sharks! There are plenty of alligators but they leave you alone. As long as you don’t touch them there will be no problems. I love to snorkel on Lake Butler and look at the Versailles home and dream of the GOOD LIFE. Lake Butler is a great place to snorkel!

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