If you’re a national parks enthusiast then you probably are used to experiencing them in pretty typical ways. You probably visit parks and hike the trails. You might rent a kayak, or take a guided tour. You might spend some time wandering off alone to get a little lost in nature, and take some stunning photographs in the process.
For most national parks that’s just par for the course, but Everglades National Park is not your typical park, or your typical landscape. Though there are hiking trails that wind their way through the wetlands, Everglades airboats still provide the best way to experience the park.
Everglades City, on the Southern tip of Florida, is known as the gateway to Ten Thousand Islands. This refers to the complex network of waterways that comprise the wetlands. It is here that you will find guided tours, trails, festivals, and airboat rentals. You can also check out Everglades Holiday Park, located near Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades, for airboat tours, alligator shows, and the chance to see some wild critters up close, but not too close.
Three Reasons You Need to Experience Everglades National Park by Airboat
Wherever you choose as your entrance point to the Everglades, you should be sure to invest in a guided airboat tour. A ride through the wetlands on one of the fan powered boats is an experience you will never forget, and it can help you make the most of your trip to the Everglades. Here are the three reasons why.
1. They Offer the Easiest Way to Access the Park
Unsurprisingly, many parts of the park are only accessible using Everglades boats. These include airboats, canoes, and kayaks. Without using watercraft, you are limited to the trails and walkways. Trials provide you with leisurely strolls, but they only tell half the story of the Everglades. Using only trials, it is hard to get a full experience of the park, and a look at all the natural wonders that the wetlands have to offer.
While you can use kayaks and canoes to navigate the waters, this is only recommended for skilled visitors. The Everglades are treacherous. The wildlife is just that, and the wetlands themselves are unpredictable. Murky waters, rapidly changing depths, and constant obstacles, can make pushing a canoe, or kayak through the water a lot more than a leisurely experience.
Plus, how much fun can you really have paddling if you’re constantly on the look out for gators?
2. They Help You Avoid Alligators, Crocodiles and Other Things That Bite
If you aren’t native to Florida, you might site gators as reasons one to one hundred for using airboat rides Everglades as your primary means of experiencing the park. The Alligators, American Crocodiles, and other dangerous amphibians that inhabit the swampland make a pretty good case for staying in the confines of a boat with a guide who is experienced and professional.
Sure, all national parks pose a wildlife risk. Part of why people are drawn to places like Everglades National Park is precisely because they offer close encounters with all of nature. Those encounters can sometimes be scary, and nowhere is this clearer than in the murky waters of the wetlands. The trick is to make sure that thrills don’t become dangerous.
Airboat rides, however, do come with their own set of risks. You’ll want to make sure that you listen to all the instructions of your boat captain carefully, but you can certainly benefit from their experience on those unique waters. While most teens are concerned with getting their driver’s license, Everglades High School could probably issue licenses for airboats. That’s how much experience people native to the region have.
3. They Give You a Thrilling Adventure
Everglades airboat tours are clearly a practical and safe way to see the park, but perhaps the best reason to use them is that they’re fun. When else will you find yourself cruising through the water on an air-powered boat? Probably never. If you can get past a fear of chomping alligators then all your left with is the wind in your hair, and the wonders of nature.
You might start off the journey on edge and unsure, but after a few minutes gliding over the water, you’ll start to relax. Your guide will share stories about the history of the Everglades, about the unique ecosystems within it, and probably a bit about all those chomping gators. You’ll see animals up-close, but you’ll be at ease, and able to enjoy them.
Get the Most Out of the Everglades
Everglades National Park is unlike any place you have been to before. That means you have to experience it in a way that is as unique as the landscape is. It’s too fascinating and extraordinary a place to simply hike through. To really get a feel for it, you have to hop in a boat, and get out on the water amid the tall grasses.