Everglades National Park
Head to the southern tip of Florida and be greeted by 1.5 million acres of wilderness called the Everglades National Park. This National Park is made up of a complex mesh of wetlands and forests which get their water supply from Lake Okeechobee. It is a fragile umbrella of 9 distinct ecosystems. Some ecosystems include fresh water sloughs, marl prairies, tropical hardwood hammocks and mangroves!
These ecosystems house a barrage of flora and fauna. They provide refuge to over 20 species of endangered and threatened species of animals. Everglades is made up of extraordinary biological processes and systems. As such, the park was established in the early twentieth century to protect it. Moreover, it was designated as a UNESCO Heritage site in 1979. Wade deep into the vast wetlands, and you will find animals from every level of a large food chain.
From primary producers (algae varieties) to the animals that sit atop the food chains (alligators and panthers), these are sights not to be missed. While some trails require rangers, the avid trekker will find that the National Park hosts many doable trails. These range from easy to rugged, depending on how challenging you want your trail to be.
Take a hike through murky wetlands and pause. Admire how sunlight trickles through the dense greenery, onto your skin. Hear the sounds of the forests and pick out the voice of a Blue Heron from over 400 species of birds that call Everglades home. It is a place filled with excitement and surprises.Look past the raised wooden pathway and maybe you will find a pair of eyes staring back at you, hidden beneath the tall strands of Sawgrass that barely cover the rich olive skin of a sizeable alligator.
Set up a small camp at the designated campsite and watch the lazy afternoon rollover into a dark night. Crimson colours smear onto a deep navy backdrop, lighted up by the Milky Way that tears through the sky in a burst of yellows and blues.
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