Greetings from Everglades National Park

Have you ever slogged through a slough? Until recently, we hadn’t either. In fact, we hadn’t ever really heard of doing that. Around the new year, my husband and I were longing for another National Park experience and thinking back on recent trips to the “more notable” parks like our time in Yellowstone & Grand Teton last fall. But living in Florida it’s a trek to get out west and not always feasible. So we decided to look within our own state. We’d been to the Everglades before but to the Gulf side and decided to give the eastern part of the park a visit. After a bit of research, we found the Ranger led Slough Slog program.

We were able to go out with a ranger and about 13 others for the experience. We learned a lot about the system, flow of water and most exciting of all we were able to slog our way into a cypress dome. We saw both flora and fauna and breathed in the fresh air and felt the cool, crisp waters in the dome. It was magical standing amongst the grandeur of these great giant trees right there in flat Florida.

It was a great experience and one I will always remember. Thanks to the ranger for making it such a fun time and helping us learn more about this great resource. His passion for the place was palpable.

It goes to show, National Parks experiences come in all shapes and sizes…you just have to get out and explore!

Jessica & Nick

Everglades National Park

One of the largest wetlands in the world, this iconic "River of Grass" protects 1.5 million acres of subtropical wilderness in South Florida. Its rare mix of salt and fresh water provides critical habitat for a variety endangered plants and animals, it serves as one of the most significant corridors for migrating species, and it is home to the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western hemisphere. Visitors can access this marshy wilderness in short hikes off of the main park road or explore the western coast of the park by paddling along the stunning 99-mile Wilderness Waterway Trail. Though they may feel like a world away, these 1.3 million acres are an easy drive from Miami.

State(s): Florida

Established: 1947

“we are part owners of our parks and as such, a steward of these majestic, wild and cultural spaces. As Wallace Stegner so eloquently said, "National Parks are the best idea we've ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic. They reflect us at our best rather than our worst." I don't think I could say it any better. I feel most American when I am standing in one of our sacred spaces. I feel the spirit, I feel the tradition, I feel appreciation and I feel space. They are places for reconnecting - with oneself, with your family, with the greater world beyond your email inbox and worries. And I want to do my part to help ensure all the future generations of Americans have this same opportunity to experience. ”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

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