Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida, United States

Apr 2, 2019 - Big Cypress Preserve

Today's big adventure took me to Big Cypress Preserve to meet Laurie and pick up a plastic kayak to use on my travels. When I take my fiberglass one, it just sits because the areas are too rocky or the rivers run too fast or other excuses. Hopefully, this takes away most of my excuses! I stopped at the first rest stop that has a boardwalk and view of alligators. I found a green heron hiding below us. After seeing Laurie and getting the kayak, I drove some of Loop Road - a dirt road that shows the true country of Florida. I saw gators, but...

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Feb 12, 2014 - Everglades! Long Pine Campground

The Everglades National Park is similar to other national parks, in that, you need to do a little driving around to see the whole thing. There's quite a variety of hiking trails, paddling trails, and hammocks, (A hammock is a dense stand of broad-leafed trees that grow on a natural rise of only a few inches in elevation above sea level) along with other programs to see here. There are two separate campgrounds, about 30 miles apart. Our campground of choice was the Long Pine campground, close to the main entrance near Homestead. Long Pine...

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Feb 12, 2014 - Big Cypress Preserve-Midway

Well, our short stay at Myakka State Park was under our belts, and it was time to say goodbye to our neighbor the farmer from up north, (and all the alligators as well). We were about to hit the road to our next “home” in south Florida which was quite a drive, all the way across the Big Cypress Preserve, to the Everglades National Park. I made sure when I planned the trip, to reserve an overnight stop at the Midway campground on Hwy 41. As we headed south, along the southwestern coast of the state, Cindy mentioned she wanted to see the...

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Apr 11, 2013 - Shark Valley still has wildlife

I just had to visit Shark Valley and Laurie at work on my way back to Carefree. While there weren't as many visitors as in the middle of winter, there were still many birds and alligators to be seen within 1/2 mile of the visitor center! Lots of anhingas are nesting and raising young; a red-shouldered hawk is raising a baby in the palm tree right above the visitor center; green herons are also nesting; and let's not forget it is getting to be alligator mating season!

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Feb 7, 2013 - Marco Island, FL - 2013

Someone suggested we be sure to visit Marco Island which is between Big Cypress and Naples. It is where "all the money is". It has a lot of nice yachts, condo's, expensive homes, nice white beaches. Marco Island is the largest of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands, located on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. It has been described as magical, mystical and alluring. We met up with friends Jo & Fred for lunch. They are staying at park about an hour away. We love crossing their path and our get-togethers. Lunch today was at a #1 rated...

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Feb 7, 2013 - Turner River Canoe Trip, FL - 2013

My favorite day of our entire adventure. What I thought would be a nice 30 to 60 minute paddle and then ranger talk was in fact 5 hours of fantastic paddling and talk on the water! Also my first time ever paddling a canoe. This was a ranger led canoe paddle along the upper end of the Turner River in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The canoes, paddles, life vests and 2 rangers were provided free. We traversed 2 fabulous very dense mangrove tunnels. In fact, one was so very low, we passed through the mangrove tunnel hand over hand to get...

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Feb 7, 2013 - Big Cypress National Preserve, FL - 2013

The Big Cypress National Preserve is some 720,000 acres of cypress, mangrove, prairie and river grass (not swamp) snuggling up to the Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Lakes area. Orchids, bromeliads, birds, alligators, venomous snakes, the Florida Panther and the Florida Black Bear are all residents of this fabulous place. During our nine day stay, we hiked some, canoed some, attended ranger programs, visited Marco Island to have lunch with friends, explored some vehicle trails to see more birds and took an airboat ride. I...

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Feb 5, 2013 - Big Cypress walk

I love to travel the Tamiami Trail (US 41) between Miami and Naples because there are so many birds in the trees and gators along the canal that runs next to the road for almost 80 miles. I have stopped at the Oasis Visitor Center almost every time to look over the boardwalk at the gators, fish, and birds. today, I stopped at the Kirby Storter wayside and walked the mile long boardwalk trail through the cypress forest. I noticed the water level is quite low, so I could see the base of many of the trees. Bromeliads were in bloom and one can...

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Dec 26, 2012 - Kayaking on the Turner River

After getting back home, I immediately loaded the kayak on the car in preparation for a 1.7 hour ride back towards Miami to the Turner River access point in order to go on a kayak/canoe trip led by a park ranger. The ranger of the day was a woman who spends her days off here at Carefree and I met her last month. Marcie led us up the river a little ways so we could see a few alligators and birds. She gave us a history of the river, who discovered it, and how it was used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Then we went down river for a few...

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Feb 3, 2012 - Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

This museum, meaning "A Place to Learn, A Place to Remember" is on the Seminole Reservation in the Big Cypress Preserve, but has a mailing address of Clewiston. Clewiston is on the southern end of Lake Okeechobee and we didn't go that far north. I had passed the sign for the museum every time I crossed the state on I-75 but never remembered to look it up to find out if it was a good place to visit. Laurie had been there with co-workers and wanted to take Jeanne and me to go see it. On the road from I-75 to the reservation, we saw alligators...

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Nov 16, 2011 - Turner River turns one over!

A few couples took their RVs to Collier-Seminole State Park for a week and sent me an invitation to kayak with them on a river that goes through mangroves and has lots of wild things to find. 4 of us staying in Carefree went down and met them for the trip. I believe there were 11 kayaks in all at the start of it. The water is higher than normal, so some of the going through the mangroves was challenging. We had to do a limbo crawl under a bridge, too! Halfway through our trip, a seasoned kayaker overturned her kayak and ended up in the...

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Dec 22, 2010 - Alligators & Birds, Birds & Alligators

Wishing we could stay longer, we left the Florida Keys. We enjoyed our short time and will come back in a couple of years. The next stop on our Florida tour is the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Everglades National Park. There are several campgrounds within the preserve, but these are on a first come first serve basis. To our delight, we were able to get a site at the Midway Campground in Big Cypress. In fact, the campground was nearly empty. This campground offers electric only (50 amp!), a black tank dump, generously spaced,...

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