Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida
Big Cypress National Preserve was created in 1974 from 720,000 acres of wet cypress forest and grassland. It is not a National Park, the Miccosukee and Seminole Tribes of Florida still live here, Off Road Vehicles are allowed and hunting is permitted in some areas. However, it has the feel of a National Park and has several trails and visitor centers of interest. We found a campground at Burns Lake which, though ‘primitive’ provided a beautiful setting for our home and travel hub for a week. We were surprised to find alligators so close to people, and also interested to find that some bluebirds, instead of freezing the winter out in Maryland, became snowbirds and traveled to Florida. While touring in the area, we found the smallest Post Office in the States at Ochopee in the Wildlife Preserve. Cheryl also managed to find a new friend, ‘Benny’ and provided babysitting services for our new friends Tony and Mona Rothschild.
and the white dots are ‘kills’.
Burns Lake Campground
Shark Valley Tram Tour
We took a tram tour at the Northern entrance to the Everglades National Park and were introduced to more of the bird and animal life in the area.
Pole Boat Tour
We felt that a traditional Air Boat Swamp Tour (advertised all over, very noisy) was the last way to see the wildlife in the area so we found a company that ran Pole Boat Tours. A ‘pole boat’ is a flat bottomed punt moved along with a long pole (well known to me with my Cambridge background). It was a very peaceful two hour trip, just the two of us plus Jules our ‘driver’ and I’m sure we were able to see much more and get a better feel for the swamp ambience. Jules claimed the company had researched the boat design in Cambridge so I offered him a few points on his poling technique.
Kirby Storter Roadside Park
We loved this park which had a long boardwalk over the swamp (and a good cell signal).
More Bird Life
Click to see location on larger map.