Aug 29th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Everglades National Park Attracts Many Seniors

You don’t hike through Florida’s word-famous “River of Grass,” you canoe.  The 99-mile Wilderness Waterway Trail leads through mangrove swamps populated with dolphins, manatees, alligators and recently huge pet pythons. Although the park is open year-round, the best time for seniors to visit is November through March.  It’s huge with just over 1.5 million acres.

Everglades National Park protects the southern 25 percent of the original Everglades. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, and is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone. It has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site and a Wetland of International Importance, only one of three locations in the world to appear on all three lists and that’s impressive.

Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, boasts rare and endangered species. Spanning the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and most of Florida Bay, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, pine lands, and hardwood hammocks, as well as marine and estuarine environments. It is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side.

Senior Birders

If you love birdwatching, seniors, the ‘Glades’ are for you. Birds are one of the park’s key attractions, and with 366 species to observe, birding is a popular activity. The park is known for its rich bird life, particularly large wading birds, such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron and a variety of egrets. The Everglades are wetlands created by a slow-moving river originating in Lake Okeechobee, fed by the Kissimmee River, a place where birds thrive. And there are more than just birds that abound here as 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles live within Everglades National Park.

Tours abound and the price range varies. Airboats are highly popular as they can cut through just about any open spaces so check out the Everglades Airboat Ride & Wildlife Show! At Gator Park, you’ll see all kinds of wildlife such as: alligators, turtles, snakes, fish and exotic birds, all as you take an airboat ride deep into the Everglades National Park. All tours are narrated by professional guides so you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the unique wetlands and its native inhabitants. Other attractions include boating, snorkeling, camping, and hiking.

I just could not leave this blog without the advice and lists that TripAdvisor provides for seniors taking in this park. The various trails are some of the major attractions that have boardwalks and provide striking views. So while you are here seniors, greet an alligator, snap a great photo of a croc and enjoy the wetlands of the park.  jeb

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