Everglades National Park Guide

This hiking guide to Everglades National Park will explore hiking trails for beginner, paddle water trails, long hikes through the various landscapes of the park. #everglades #nationalpark #adventure #guide #itinerary #thingstodo #hike #hikingtrails

Everglades National Park

I have visited many National Parks around the world, and every once in awhile, my expectations get blown out of the water by some unexpectedly beautiful destination. The Everglades National Park is located in the state of Florida in the southern United States. This park is packed full of adventure, nature, and animals so unique, you can’t miss it during your visit to Florida.

This Adventure Guide to Everglades National Park will explore the diverse eco systems while hiking through the various landscapes of the park. #everglades #nationalpark #adventure #guide #itinerary #thingstodo #hike

Never had I imagined a wetlands landscape would be so mysterious, wild, and stunning. There are no other Everglades in the world– so I shouldn’t have been too surprised. My Everglades National Park Guide will take you through all the unique ecosystems of the everglades. With all you need to know, including hike suggestions to make the most of your time in the park. I hope you enjoy your time there as much as we did!

Here is your Adventure Guide to Everglades National Park!

Everglades National Park Wetlands | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

COVID-19 Response

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities, park operations continue to adapt to changing conditions while maintaining public access, particularly outdoor spaces. Before visiting a park, please check the park website to determine its operating status. Updates about the overall NPS response to COVID-19, including safety information, are posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please recreate responsibly.

– Everglades National Park Service

How to Get to Everglades National Park

The closest airport to fly into is Miami International Airport (MIA) you can drive a rental car 45 minutes west into Everglades National park.

Where to Stay in Everglades National Park

Photo: Trip Advisor

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Miami Everglades Resort

Nature Camp & Cabins

RV resort & campground with 300 sites that accommodates RV’s and tents. There are also cabins, and lodges for rent. Located 15 miles from the Everglades, 30 miles south of Miami, and halfway to Key Largo. The park is surrounded by palm, avocado, and mango trees.

Hoosville Hostel
Photo: Trip Advisor

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Hoosville Hostel

Near Everglades & Biscayne National Parks

This cozy, laid back hostel is 10 miles from Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. Hang out in the tropical garden and read a book or just sit back & relax in a tree hammock. Hoosville has 14 rooms available in a variety of occupancies for 2 to 8 guests.

Photo: Ice Portal

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

HOME2 SUITES BY HILTON

Family Friendly

Hilton Suites offers guests the ideal mix of value, comfort and convenience. The hotel is family-friendly, close to Everglades National Park, and restaurants. With a wide range of amenities such as family rooms, a pool, and complimentary breakfast.

King Guestroom Overall View Image 3 of 12

Rating: 4 out of 5.

TRU BY HILTON

Modern & Updated

Tru is a newly built pet friendly hotel close to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. Pick up some fresh fruit from local fruit stands nearby and enjoy the complimentary breakfast before your day in the park!

This Adventure Guide to Everglades National Park will explore the diverse eco systems while hiking through the various landscapes of the park. #everglades #nationalpark #adventure #guide #itinerary #thingstodo #hike

Things to do in Everglades National Park

One of the most popular things to do in Everglades National Park are airboat tours through the “river of grass”. There are several companies that offer different tours, however some of these companies partake in animal shows, caged animals, animal touching and disturbing the natural balance of the everglades. I do not in anyway support those activities. Which is why I am recommending Wild Lime Adventures.

River of Grass Everglades National Park Walkway

Take an Airboat Tour Along the Grass River

Wild Lime Adventures is owned by a couple who are master naturalists and marine biologists. The intriguing cultural tours, are led by the local indigenous Miccosukee tribe who live in the everglades and predate Columbus. You will see alligators, manatee, dolphins, colorful birds, and a native tree island village. All without disturbing the animals or eco systems of the ONLY EVERGLADES IN THE WORLD.

Everglades National Park is largely associated with birds, and is one of the very popular bird watching locations in Florida. The River of Grass warm, shallow, waters have been attracting hundreds of bird types for thousands of years. Over 360 different species of birds can be seen throughout the Everglades, all varying in shape, size and color.

Download the Everglades National Park Bird Checklist Here!

NPS States the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) is a large, bald-headed wading bird that stands more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) tall, has a 5 foot (1.5 meter) wing spread, and weighs 4 to 6 pounds (1.8 to 2.7 kg). It is the only stork breeding in the United States and was placed on the Federal Endangered Species list in 1984. The species was downlisted from endangered to threatened in June 2014, reflecting a successful conservation and recovery effort spanning three decades. The Wood Stork serves as an indicator species for restoration of the Everglades ecosystem. Indicator species serve as excellent messengers of the past, present, and future because their specific habitat requirements are so closely associated with one particular environment.

Loon bird in Everglades National Park wetlands. Bird watching in Everglades National Park is just one way to see wildlife! This National Park Guide will tell you where to hike, what to do + more! | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

Kayak the River of Grass

Go on a kayak adventure and watch birds hunting, see some turtles, songbirds, orchids, and air plants. Paddle through beautiful mangrove tunnels, and keep an eye out for the famous Florida alligators! Kayaking through Everglades National Park will provide you with a whole new way of seeing the park. The tour is led by a professional naturalist guide and will be able to answer all your questions about the mysterious world of water.

Do the Triple Crown Tour: City, Everglades, and Star Island Boat Cruise

The triple crown tour is great for families and kids of all ages. If you only have 1 day this half day tour will be great! On the tour you will experience the Everglades National Park and the city of Miami. The tour has everything you need for an adventure! You’ll be provided luggage storage, water, park maps, WiFi, and a phone charger! The tour starts in Miami where a local guide will show you the cultural sights, Art Deco instagram worthy District in Miami Beach, and the delicious Cuban food at the Latin street fair by Domino Park. After your city tour you’ll be taken to Everglades National Park for an airboat ride. Once you’re back in Miami you’ll enjoy a relaxing boat cruise around Star Island as you watch the sunset.

Dolphin and Manatee Boat Tour in 10,000 Islands 

This private boat tour is led by a US Coast Guard Licensed Captain. You will cruise through one of the most pristine Mangrove Forests in the World! This tour is centered around wildlife conservation, and is very family friendly! Experience the most unique eco-system in the country as you cruise around the Everglades. The best part of the 3 hour cruise is of course the close-up encounters with playful dolphins, sleepy manatees, and the famous alligators!

Adventure Paddle Tours is also a member of 1% for the Planet. Which means 1% of each tour gets donated to the Everglades Foundation, so you will be supporting a eco-minded company! Learn about the different wildlife you’ll encounter with your Florida Naturalist Captain. They can tell you all you want to know on the Mangrove Ecology, Manatee protection, and other interesting facts about the Everglades ecosystem.

Elevation in the Everglades is typically measured in inches instead of feet. The highest elevation in the park doesn’t exceed 8 ft. so when I saw this elevation sign at 4 ft it made me laugh a little. The elevation levels in the park define each habitat, from the lowest freshwater marsh to the higher tropical hardwood hammocks.

Everglades National Park Easy Hiking Trails

  • Anhinga Trail – Easy, 1.5 mi, est 36 min
  • Gumbo Limbo Trail – Easy, 0.4 mi, est 10 min
  • Mahogany Hammock Trail – Easy, 0.4 mi, est 10 min
  • Pa-Hay Okee Overlook Trail – Easy, 0.2 mi, est 4 min
  • Pinelands Trail – Easy, 0.4 mi, est 10 min

Anhinga Trail

This was our favorite trail we did during our day in the park. It was the first hike as you entered the park, so it was quite busy. The 0.8 mile hike was the best area to spot wildlife. We saw alligators, turtles, varies birds, and lots of unique fish.

Hiking Anhinga trail in Everglades National Park is the best way to see wildlife! This National Park Guide will tell you where to hike, what to do + more! | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

Alligator Everglades National Park. This guide will tell you where to hike, what to do + more! | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

A word of caution- at the trailhead parking lot there are vultures that are waiting to feast on your vehicle. They’re quite fond of the rubber window seals for some reason, and they WILL destroy your car if you do not cover it with a tarp. The tarps are provided with straps by the bathrooms and rest area.

Vultures at the trailhead in Everglades National Park parking area. This National Park Guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations
Vultures at the trailhead in Everglades National Park parking area. This National Park Guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

Gumbo Limbo Trail

After we finished the Anhinga hike we made our way over to the Gumbo-Limbo trail. A short 0.4 mile hike takes you into a dense tropical hardwood hammock. The trail tunnels through a tropical hardwood hammock, a world dramatically different from the wide-open slough. In the shadowy tangle of vegetation, the plants at first appear all alike and the wildlife non-existent.

But the hammock contains a surprising variety of species that take unfamiliar forms. In the intense competition for light and space, the vegetation grows in layers. A botanist exploring this hammock in 1983 was so in awe of the profusion of bromeliads, royal palms, and orchids that he suggested the area as a federal park. His journey here from Miami took three days. 

The trail was not crowded, and it was a nice break into the trees from the sunny Anhinga hike. Forests like this can survive only because of the tropical conditions. About 70% of the 700 native plant species of the park are of tropical origin

Gumbo Limbo Trail in Everglades National Park. Located in the state of Florida, this National Park Guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

Pinelands Trail

Take a short walk along this 0.4 mile trail through a sub-tropical pine forest. You’ll be walking through one of the most diverse habitats in south Florida.

Everglades National Park Pinelands trail. This National Park Guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

You’ll see the scenery changing as hardwoods are taken over by young pine. Higher areas in the Everglades eventually become large hammocks, unless they are destroyed by fire first. Fire preserves the natural diversity of the Everglades, and is crucial to the regrowth process of the various ecosystems.

Formerly, 52 color varieties of tree snails lived in the hammocks of South Florida. They came from the West Indies, dispersed, and settled in separate tree islands. After years of inbreeding, many multi-colored varieties came about. After gathering many of one variety, collectors sometimes would burn the hammock, destroying any left and making their collection more valuable. Thus putting at least four kinds of tree snail into extinction.

Everglades National Park. This National Park Guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

Pa-hay-okee Overlook

A short walk will guide you to a beautiful overlook known as Pa-hay-okee. This ecosystem of freshwater marsh is a wide, shallow, slow moving “river of grass”. It’s amazing how large this green river of grass really was. It seemed to expand forever into the horizon- with the occasional tree sprouting out.

Pa hay okee Overlook Everglades National Park. This National Park Guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

Water is the lifeblood of Everglades National Park, this river of grass is dependent on the seasonal rise and fall of fresh water. It is also dependent on people. For over 100 years we dredged, dammed, and drained the landscape. Controlling the ebb and flow of this life-giving force. In doing so, we endangered the Everglades and the life dependent on it.


Mahogany Hammock Trail Everglades National Park. This National Park Guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations

Mahogany Hammock Trail

This 0.4 mi walk takes you through a jungle-like island forest. Tropical Hardwood Hammocks as seen above grow in Everglades National Park The hammocks create dense island forests that grow out of the freshwater marshes.

Mahogany Hammock Trail Everglades National Park. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations


Everglade Mangroves

Mangroves ecosystem in Everglades National Park. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about your first visit | herlifeadventures.blog | #everglades #nationalpark #florida #travel #destinations
This Adventure Guide to Everglades National Park will explore the diverse eco systems while hiking through the various landscapes of the park. #everglades #nationalpark #adventure #guide #itinerary #thingstodo #hike

4 Day Tour from Miami

If you have more time and want to see all the top sites in southern Florida this tour is for you! Starting in Miami this tour includes trips to Everglades National Park, Key West, South Beach, Miami City, Little Havana, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, location of the Mar-a-Lago -Palm Beach, plus an exclusive dinner at the Fort Lauderdale Dinner & Cruise Show. Or if you prefer, the Miami South Beach Night Tour on the day of airport pickup.

5-Day Tour From Miami

This 5 day tour from Miami to the Everglades and throughout southern Florida is perfect if you have the time. The tour leaves from Miami and takes you to Everglades National Park, a shopping outlet, Exclusive* Fort Lauderdale’s Dinner & Show Cruise or Miami South Beach Night Tour on the day of airport pickup. See the best of Florida in this hot spots: Key West, South Beach, Miami City, Little Havana, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, location of the Mar-a-Lago -Palm Beach, and etc.

Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami

Headed to Key West? Check out my guide to plan your perfect adventure!

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60 thoughts on “Everglades National Park Guide

  1. Wowza what a gorgeous area! I love the idea of hiking in everglades and kayaking in the grassy waters! I am not going to lie though, being so close to alligators would totally freak me out!

    1. They are pretty docile from my experiences. I’ve seen them on a Nola boat tour as well as kayaking cenotes in Mexico. Logan was scuba diving in the cenote while I kayaked… so when we were about 5 ft away from an alligator I was SO GLAD to be in the boat and not the water haha

  2. This looks like such an amazing experience. I remember when we went here years ago we saw so many aligators along the side of the road into the park!

  3. This brings back some memories – cycling and camping there in 1994, seeing the effects of Hurricane Andrew, watching birds that I had never seen before – (and getting the feeling that many took offence if you didn’t photograph them!!), taking those hiking trails, meeting a few alligators – at a safe distance. I don’t remember so many vultures though, but the snail kites were amazing.
    Definitely a place worth visiting

  4. This is one of the national parks that’s still on our to do list. I’m hoping to get there in the next year or so. Thanks for all the tips. It’s so strange about the vultures attacking cars. Did you get any explanation about why they do that?

    1. hahaha it WAS strange… and also quite humorous. The park rangers told us they eat the rubber weather stripping around the windshields/doors because it had the same texture/”tearing sensation” of eating an animal.

  5. WE really enjoyed our visit there last year…looks like you had much better weather though than we did! I hope to go back again someday. It’s so incredibly unique.

    1. Thank you!!! I was a little disappointed with my alligator photo (I wish it wasn’t so dark!) but it was hard capturing him in the shadows on a bright sunny day 😂

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