Everglades National Park is an extraordinary natural landscape. A long thin strip of land jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico, the Everglades stretches for about two hundred miles. On this land, nature has bestowed upon us a landscape to be marveled at, experienced and explored.
Everglades National Park lies on the border of Florida and Louisiana. It’s a national park, so technically it’s not free as to the public. But what you’ll find is that this enchanted land is open to visitors. In fact, the park has special permits that you need to obtain before heading there. However, being a closed park, you can enjoy it more seriously than in other places.
Everglade National Park is also known as the Everglades because it’s one of the few places in the country where you will see all four types of species of manatees. Manatees are saltwater and they don’t come out of the water very often. That’s why they’re unique among mammals. Manatees live all over mainland Florida and just down south of Key Largo on the Gulf of Mexico. There are manatees along the Keys and along the eastern coast, but they’re much less common than those found in the Everglades.
Most of the animals you’ll come across in Everglade National Park have originated in other countries. For example, manatees that belong to the genus Agapanthus, native to India, can be found in the Mississippi River. The most familiar kind of mammal that you’ll find here are squirrels. They’re an interesting addition to the ecosystem since they eat a lot of insects, including mosquitoes and birds. In fact, many of the animals you’ll see in Everglade National Park are actually flying around! These include bats, ground beetles and even chipmunks.
Even though Everglade National Park has lots of interesting wildlife, you shouldn’t plan on staying long. The park rangers recommend staying at least one night, but no more than three nights. If you’re going to spend time here, you want to make sure it’s a safe, comfortable experience. Since the park is considered to be a no-fault facility, you won’t be able to drive in the park. That means you should make your reservations ahead of time. The best way to do that is online.
For information about how to get into the Everglade National Park, visit the official website. You can also view photos, learn more about the park itself, and check out the campgrounds, lodges and restaurants around the area. The park has a bus service, but the reservation process can take up to two weeks. If you’d rather skip the wait and go straight to Everglade National Park, you can make your reservations at a number of campgrounds in Florida.
Here are some of the general rules for Everglades National Park:
- Leave No Trace: Visitors are expected to pack out all trash and leave the park as they found it. This includes not disturbing or removing any natural or cultural resources.
- Camping: Camping is allowed only in designated campsites and with a permit. Backcountry camping is also available with a permit.
- Wildlife: Visitors are not allowed to feed or disturb wildlife, and they should keep a safe distance from all animals.
- Fishing: Fishing is allowed in designated areas with a valid Florida fishing license. There are also rules regarding the size and number of fish that can be caught.
- Boating: Boats are allowed in designated areas, and all boats must have a valid Florida registration or a park permit.
- Fire: Fires are allowed only in designated areas and with a permit.
- Trails: Visitors are encouraged to stay on designated trails to minimize the impact on the natural environment.
- Pets: Pets are allowed in designated areas, but they must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed on trails or in backcountry areas.
- Firearms: Firearms are not allowed in the park.
These are some of the basic rules for Everglades National Park. Again, it is always a good idea to check the official park website for the most up-to-date information and any additional rules or regulations.
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