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Friday, October 28, 2011

Adventures in the Everglades

The best way to tackle the immensity of the 1,506,539-acre Everglades National Park is to take it in chunks.  At Shark Valley Visitor Center at the northern tip of the Everglades, rent bikes from the rangers and get ready for one of the most exhilarating 15-mile loops of your life. More than likely, it will take you an hour to bike that first mile. That’s because you’ll want to stop every 20 yards to get another photograph of an alligator sleeping in the tall grass, large turtles sunbathing on rocks, and the extraordinary amount of birdlife that call the canal next to the bike trail home. Anhingas dry their wings on the branches of the gumbo limbo tree, wood storks, white whooping cranes, and the long-legged great blue heron stand tall in the shallow water, while pink roseate spoonbills fly over the royal palms. Or canoe a stretch of the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway from Everglades City to Flamingo as you paddle though mangrove swamps and creeks to the deserted white beaches of anonymous cays. If the canoe starts to rock, slap your paddle firmly against the water. This usually scares off alligators and those doe-eyed West Indian manatees. 
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/28/11 at 01:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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