Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Activities & Programs

Bicycling is a popular activity in Everglades National Park. Bicycles can be rented year-round at the Flamingo Marina and the Shark Valley Visitor Plaza. 

Fishing in the inland and coastal waters of the Everglades is excellent and can be enjoyed year-round. Snapper, sea trout, redfish, bass, bluegill, tarpon and snook are plentiful. Saltwater fishing areas include Florida Bay, Ten Thousand Islands and elsewhere in the park's coastal zone. Freshwater and saltwater fishing require separate Florida fishing licenses.

Skiffs and canoes are also available for rent at Flamingo. Please call (239) 695-3101 for more information.

Wildlife observation in the Everglades is very rewarding. Hundreds of egrets, herons, wood storks and other water birds feed here. Some species that are uncommon or endangered throughout other parts of the world are relatively common here. The best places to see birds are at Shark Valley and Royal Palm, particularly in the dry, winter months. The best times to see birds and animals are the early morning and late afternoon.

The Anhinga Trail at Royal Palm is one of the most dependable areas for wildlife viewing. Also, the region with cypress trees on the main park road near Rock Reef Pass, 10 miles west of the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center is particularly good for wildlife viewing.

Guided hiking, canoeing and swamp tromps are offered by park rangers. Numerous tours are available on a year-round basis at Everglades National Park, but schedules are limited in the summer months. Call ahead or check the park's web page for current schedules.

Tram tours are a great way to see the Everglades. A two-hour guided Tram Tour is available at the Shark Valley Visitor Plaza.

The tram tour journeys through the sawgrass prairie that is dotted with small tree islands. Guides identify trees, plants, birds, alligators and other points of interest. The tour stops at an observation tower to provide a panoramic view of the Everglades. For reservations call Shark Valley Tram Tours at (305) 221-8455.

Backcountry cruises of the Flamingo area and other tours are available from Everglades City and Flamingo. For reservations and schedules call (239) 695-2591 or the Flamingo Marina at (239) 695-3101.

Canoeing is an excellent way to explore the area because more than one-third of the park is comprised of marine areas and estuaries under shallow water. Water birds, sea turtles, a variety of fish and endangered -manatees live in the park's waterways where food is plentiful. Rental canoes are available at Flamingo marina. Times and distances for the following canoe trails are one-way and -estimated.

Noble Hammock Trail: Two-mile loop, one-to-two hours. 

Hell's Bay Trail: Three miles to Lard Can, two hours; 3.5 miles to Pearl Bay, three to four hours; 5.5 miles to Hell's Bay Chickee, five to six hours. 

West Lake Trail: 7.7 miles, five to six hours. 

There is no transport to Nine Mile Pond Trail (5.2 miles, three to four hours). Canoes are located there.

All of these water trails begin near Flamingo and offer excellent opportunities to explore the park's backcountry, where you have the opportunity to see the many animals and plants that are part of the unique ecology of Everglades National Park. Check with the Flamingo Visitor Center for mosquito and trail conditions. 

The Wilderness Waterway is a 99-mile inland water route between Flamingo and Everglades City (six to eight hours with an outboard motor, eight to 10 days by canoe). Numbered markers guide you through mangrove forests, through Whitewater Bay and around countless islands. Boats more than 18 feet in length or with high cabins and windshields should not attempt the trip because of narrow channels and over-hanging vegetation. Campsites are available along the route. A backcountry camping permit is required if you will be staying overnight. Permits may be obtained in person at the Flamingo or Everglades City visitor centers. Rental canoes are available in Everglades City and Flamingo marina for this trip.