Camping Gear

Photo Gallery: Paddling the Everglades

Posted On January 17, 2017 at 4:04 am by / Comments Off on Photo Gallery: Paddling the Everglades

By Michael Lanza

I confess: Everglades National Park was not near the top of my adventure to-do list before I went there the first time, during an all-day layover in Miami waiting for a flight to Chile to trek in Patagonia. After a short hike in the park, I knew I had to return for a longer visit with my kids. My family spent our first day there paddling through a series of long mangrove tunnels on the East River (lead photo above), watching scores of exotic birds fly just overhead: snowy egrets, white ibises, black anhingas, tri-colored herons, brown pelicans, great blue herons (everything that flies here seems to have a color in its name). And we saw alligators—several of them, up to 12 feet long—floating listlessly on the river’s surface.

We also spent three days canoeing and camping on a wilderness beach at Tiger Key in the Ten Thousand Islands, seeing yet more birds like osprey and brilliantly pink roseate spoonbills, as well as a dolphin that circled my son’s and my canoe one afternoon, and awe-inspiring sunsets into the Gulf of Mexico every evening.

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Mid-winter is the prime time of year for canoeing or kayaking in Everglades National Park: few mosquitoes, mild temperatures, lots of exotic birds—and the gators are relatively inactive because, for them, it’s cold.

Check out the photo gallery below, and then read my story about that trip, which has more photos, a video, and tips on planning this trip yourself.

Our Everglades trip was the last of 11 national park adventures we took with our kids in one year, which I wrote about in my award-winning book Before They’re Gone—A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks.

Do you like The Big Outside? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today, a Trip Advisor site, and others. Get email updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story, in the left sidebar, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.


Great egret, Everglades National Park.
Mangrove tunnel, East River.
Brown pelican, East River.
Alligator, East River.
Osprey, Chokoloskee Bay, Everglades.
White ibises, Tiger Key, Ten Thousand Islands, Everglades/

Roseate spoonbills, Tiger Key, Ten Thousand Islands, Everglades.
Sunset, Tiger Key, Ten Thousand Islands, Everglades.


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