Everglades National Park

The dry season is the best time to visit

The Everglades has two very distinct seasons – the dry season which runs from November to April and the wet season which lasts from May to November. It was the last weekend in February and a cold front was predicted to push through the peninsula bringing cooler drier air. I wanted to take advantage of the improved hiking conditions so I decided to explore the Everglades National Park. The dry season down here attracts many birds. The wet season brings out the insects. Believe me when I say it is not a lot of fun to go out fishing or hiking with bugs all around you. Insects can be present all the time. Even during the dry season visitors to the park should be prepared for mosquitoes and a variety of biting flies.

The 3rd largest national park in the lower 48 states, behind Yellowstone National Park and Death Valley National Park

The Everglades spans across 1.5 million acres that stretch over the southern part of Florida. The park has three main areas. We entered through the Homestead visitor center to get maps and trail information. The park ranger informed us that high water levels had scattered the birds and wildlife throughout the park. Visiting the Everglades lets you explore a vast diversity of eco-systems. There is a lot of area to explore and I can see myself spending a week here but I only had 2 days. Some of the trails that we explored were the Eco Pond trail, the Anhinga trail, the Gumbo Limbo trail, the Pahayokee overlook, and the Mahogany Hammock trail. Looks like another visit will happen soon. Here are some images from my visit.

anhinga everglades

The anhinga is a large bird that likes to dry out its feathers in the sun

mockingbird everglades

The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is renowned for its mimicking ability

butterfly

The Ecopond trail was full of butterflies. Here is a Junonia evarete

cardinal everglades

A female northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). The male was not far behind.

hermit thrush everglades

Brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) forage on the forest floor for insects

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