Where Should You Enter the Park?

parkThe Everglades is vast! There are so many different areas to explore… 1.5 million acres of land to be exact. The Park has three entrances that are hours apart from each other, so before you head down, you should decide which entrance you’d like to enter.  Your decision should be based on where you want to go and see and do. Here are the Park’s entrances:

Shark Valley in Miami: This area is considered the heartland of the Everglades. You can walk, bike, or ride a tram along a 15-mile loop from this entrance. There is a 65-foot observation tower that gives you an amazing view of the Everglades. You will definitely get to see birds, fish, turtles, alligators and more while in Shark Valley.

Gulf Coast in Everglades City: This center allows you to take a boat tour (on your own or scheduled) to see different sights. You can explore the Gulf Coast and mangrove estuaries of the Ten Thousand Islands from this area.

Royal Palm in Homestead: At this entrance you can go on the Anhinga Trail or the Gumbo Limbo Trail. Lots of wildlife can be spotted on the Anhinga Trail, which borders the Taylor Slough. The Gumbo Limbo Trail goes through a hardwood hammock. This is the Park’s main entrance.

If you follow the Everglades road, you can take the Pineland trail, which is a half mile around a pine forest. Or, you can go down the Pahavokee Overlook, which is a boardwalk trail with an observation platform looking over the Park. Lastly, this road can take you to the Mahogany Hammock Trail which goes through a dense hammock of air plants and gumbo-limbo trees. It is home to the largest mahogany tree in the United States. At the end of the road, you will find Flamingo followed by Florida Bay.

Want to explore the Everglades in another way? Not on foot? An airboat tour is the way to go!  If you go toward Homestead you can get on an air boat with Captain Mitch! An airboat tour with Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours give you an up close look of the Everglades. You’ll get to see lots of wildlife and plants on this trip. Captain Mitch has been navigating the Everglades for decades! To book an airboat ride, click Everglades airboat rides page or call 800-368-0065.