During the winter months in the Florida Everglades, there are quite a lot of Ranger Programs offered. Most are free and some charge a small fee. As of this posting it is the hot summer here in the glades, but there are a few Ranger Programs that are available. Check here: Ranger Programs You can also earn a Junior Ranger Badge for kids up to 11 yrs. old.
This past winter, I took Nadia, her friend and I to the Ranger led Cypress Sawyer Historic Hike. It is an informative hike about how logging and development were opened up in the Big Cypress Swamp by the Tamiami Trail.
This hike started out at Kirby Storter Roadside Park off the Tamiami Trail east of the Gulfcoast Visitor Center, in the Big Cypress Reserve. This park is also located near Collier-Seminole State Park Campground.
We all met in the Kirby Storter parking lot. Dress attire was closed shoes (boots recommended), long pants and long sleeves and I would also bring a hat. When the ranger arrived, we were all handed walking sticks. Now guess why??? I thought it was because we might fall in the mud, but no, it was to chase away snakes!!!!! Yes snakes! Thank goodness we did not see any, but I was wacking my stick all around the grass just in case.
It was time to start, we just started walking through the grass. How the ranger knew where she was going beats me. I turned to see the parking lot and it could no longer be seen.
Believe it or not, we really enjoyed ourselves. We did not see any animals alive, but we did find a deer carcass that looked to have been dragged by a Florida Panther.
This was a very good way to get out in nature and really explore part of the everglades. When we finished, we had to give back our sticks. I then, took the girls on the Kirby Storter Boardwalk. Here is what we saw:
The Kirby Storter Wayside Park also has Restrooms and covered picnic tables and is not too far from The Shark Valley Visitor Center.