This Just Might Be The Most Beautiful Hike In All Of Florida
The trails in Big Cypress National Preserve lead through prehistoric Florida swamp, back in time, and into total solitude. Taking a wet walk through Big Cypress may sound odd, but it is also guaranteed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget.
This 30-mile loop was once known as the wildest part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, but it is no longer considered part of the trail. This hike is difficult and can take 2-3 days, moving at around one mile per hour. There is also a side trail through Robert’s Strand that covers about 7 miles, for a shorter hike.
During the summer, the water can be waist-deep and difficult to navigate, but during the colder months, the water might only be calf-deep. It’s clear, so the trail is visible below. Wading through the swamp is a unique experience that many people come to enjoy. Campsites on the trail sit on the islands of dry land called hammocks. Expect to see ancient cypress, bromeliads, and orchids, as well as many rare and endangered animals including the wood stork, southern bald eagle, and the Florida panther.
If a wet walk sounds too challenging, don’t despair. Less experienced hikers can enjoy the scenery and wildlife of Big Cypress from the Kirby Storter Boardwalk while staying dry. Other activities include biking, bird watching, canoeing and kayaking, and even hunting and off-road vehicle use. Check with the park for more information and to obtain any necessary permits before visiting.
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