The Paradise Coast is surrounded by mangroves, estuaries, marshes, shorelines and an abundance of wildlife. This beauty is gifted by nature with a diverse ecosystem that is available for all to enjoy. From the world-famous Everglades National Park to Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary to a vast array of refuges, preserves and parks, you have the opportunity to enjoy this pristine paradise, either on your own or with an eco-tour company.
The diverse habitats allow you to take pleasure in activities like canoeing, hiking and kayaking, fresh and saltwater fishing, camping and biking in the ultimate wilderness. This is the Florida that welcomed all from Native Americans to conquistadors to pioneers. And it’s here for you to enjoy – unspoiled and untamed, in all of its astounding beauty.
Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America and part of the country’s largest wetlands ecosystem. It is declared as a World Heritage Site, a Wetland of International Importance and an International Biosphere Reserve. Bask in the warmth of the Florida sun or learn something new with the guided tours that you can join in. Or, you can spend a morning taking pictures of birds or an afternoon hiking and watching alligators
Boat tours are available that take you out into the saltwater mangrove estuary area of the park, where you’ll spot bottlenose dolphins and numerous bird species, including osprey, herons and egrets. And you may explore on your own if you’re a canoe or kayak enthusiast and you know what you’re doing. At the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, you’ll be able to obtain backcountry camping permits for excursions along the preserve that include camping on secluded beach islands and they can also provide the means of getting there.
The entire region is rife with flora and fauna that varies all throughout the seasons. You’re sure to meet and learn about a wide variety of plants and creatures, including forest and wading birds, otters, marsh rabbits, lizards, deer, alligators, maybe even a Florida panther or the breathtaking 700-year-old tower bald cypress. There will be stops for quick rests and signs along the way to make your stroll through the Florida wilderness a fun learning experience.
There is a rare ghost orchid at the sanctuary and it has flowered with multiple white blossoms each summer for the past four years. Flowers usually appear between June and August. This beauty can be seen through a scope that’s on the boardwalk.
The preserve provides guided swamp walks courtesy by the local rangers and educational seminars in the winter season, but you can go on your own or hire private guides to enjoy canoe, kayak and “pole boat” trips, photography workshops, biking and strolling around the safer parts of the swamp all year ’round.
There is just so much in store for the nature lover in Everglades that our articles merely scratch the surface. We invite all of you to experience the peace and serenity that the natural wonders of this beautiful paradise can offer to one and all.