Wetlands are usually the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about the Everglades National Park, but that's not all this unique environment has to offer. Visitors will find miles of trails for walking or biking with plenty of available camping areas in case you need to stay overnight. Pick up a map from any ranger office or choose one of the following trails as an introduction to the Everglades.
This 15-mile paved and flat trail is suitable for both hikers and cyclists. At the end of the trail is an observation tower where you can climb to the top for unparalleled views across the Everglades. This area is also rich in wildlife, especially alligators and birds such as spoonbills, ibis and herons.
This area offers 22 miles of interconnected trails, allowing you to see as much or as little as you wish. Most trails start at the camp ground and take in a mixture of prairie and pine forest along the way. This area is also home to one of the region's most endangered animals, the Florida panther.
Offering yet another different type of hiking, the Snake Bight Trail winds through the mangrove swamps and then out onto a boardwalk towards the shore. Birdwatching here is excellent, especially if you plan your arrival at high tide.
A trip to the Everglades is all about experiencing the great outdoors, and with such a large area of water and swamp, getting into a boat is just part of the adventure. But that's not all the park has to offer. Whether your idea of fun is high-tech or more back-to-basics in nature, the Everglades National Park will provide the perfect setting for fun.
The area around the Flamingo Visitor Center has a range of marked trails suitable for exploring by kayak. The Nine Mile Pond trail is particularly good, with plenty of alligators and wading birds. Sea kayaking is also possible with larger lakes accessible by boat.
In order to preserve the natural wilderness, there are no cabins inside Everglades National Park. Camping, however, is permitted and is a popular option during the dry season. Since you don't have to stick to designated campsites, why not take the chance to find the perfect spot to pitch your tent for the night?
If you're fond of pushing your physical boundaries, why not take up the National Park Service's triathlon challenge by picking up a Triathlon Passport from any ranger station? In order to complete your triathlon you must hike, cycle or kayak for 100 miles through the Everglades. The good news is that you don't have to do it all in one go.
The Everglades offer interesting and exciting activities for all ages that will create a visit to remember. In fact, there's so much to keep everyone busy that you can easily spend a week or more exploring this vast park. If you're planning a longer stay, look for Everglades National Park National Park cabins which are close to the park itself in order to cut down on traveling time.
Teens who can't bear to put their smartphones down will love geocaching, a high-tech treasure hunt for tiny caches with codes or messages inside located all around the park. It's a great way to add interest and motivation to any family walk.
With one third of the park covered in water, it's hardly surprising that fishing is one of the main leisure activities in the Everglades. You'll need a licence and different permits for freshwater and sea fishing. Lucky anglers can expect to catch largemouth bass, tripletail or grouper. Get advice on local restrictions and top tips on the best fishing spots from the park rangers offices.
Perhaps the favorite Everglades experience is zooming over the water's surface in one of the iconic airboats. Take a trip with a skilled wildlife guide who can point out species like birds and alligators as you pass along.