One of my big regrets from our time in Florida is that we never made it down to the national parks while we were there. Florida has three national parks, all of which are down near the southern tip of the state. I had the opportunity to visit Everglades National Park a few years ago and loved it! This national park is 1.5 million acres. With that much space dedicated to the park, it is only the third largest national park in the country after Death Valley National Park and Yellowstone National Park. And where most national parks are dedicated to preserving beautiful and interesting geographic features, Everglades in the first to preserve an entire ecosystem. In 1979 this park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Everglades National Park is made up of three different areas- the mangroves, the marshes, and the pine flatwoods- and each area is unique. I visited the mangrove area and took an air boat ride along the water and the trees. I loved zipping along on top of the water, ear muffs blocking the loud rumbling noise of the air boat, and peering in between the roots of the mangrove trees at some of the local wildlife taking refuge there. While I didn’t see any gators (thankfully so as that would of made me very nervous to be so close to them in the water) I did see a lot of beautiful tropical birds and a lot of raccoons peering out from the trees. One pelican decided to hop on our boat and join the ride for awhile. It was an incredible experience being in the Everglades and one that I hope to share with my family someday.
For more on the Everglades, check out :: nps.gov/ever