Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 14

FAST LANE | PARK IT HERE | National parks under the microscope

South Florida Parks Rebounding
After Hurricane Irma
Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve

W

hat is the postHurricane Irma
status of the parks?

Hurricane Irma ripped
through South Florida on Sept. 10,
taking down trees, damaging structures,
and knocking out power and roadways.
Everglades National Park and Big Cypress
National Preserve were both hit especially
hard, forcing the closure of some areas
of the parks well into October. But today,
the area's National Park Service (NPS)
Public Information Officer, Dana Soehn,
is pleased to say, "While deeply affected
by recent hurricanes, the South Florida
parks have been steadily reopening areas
to visitors as soon as safely possible. More
than 400 park employees from across
the nation responded to help clear debris
and hazards from scenic roads, trails,
waterways, picnic areas, campgrounds,
and visitor centers.
"Big Cypress National Preserve and
Everglades National Park have long been
shaped by water, wind, and storms,"
Soehn adds. "While visitors will see some
signs of damage, overwhelmingly they
will experience the resiliency of these
special places, and have the opportunity to enjoy scenic landscapes and the
incredible diversity of plants and animals
they support."
What makes exploring these great
Florida parks an extraordinary
experience? The remarkable South

Florida wilderness protected by these
two adjoining park sites gives visitors
an excellent idea of what this region of
North America was like before the arrival
of European settlers and subsequently,
land developers; travelers are sure to be
captivated by the unique environment
here. Birders will be thrilled by the sheer
variety of waterfowl, and virtually everyone seems to enjoy viewing alligators
14

DESTINATIONS

/ JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE
Established:
Everglades: A predecessor site, Royal Palm State Park, was created in 1916. On
May 30, 1934, Everglades National Park was created by Congress, with the stipulation that there would be no money allotted for its development for at least five
years. President Harry S. Truman finally dedicated the park on Dec. 6, 1947.
Big Cypress: Along with Big Thicket in Texas, Big Cypress became one of the
nation's first two National Preserves when Congress authorized the pair on Oct.
11, 1974.
Located:
Everglades: Most of the park is located at the end of State Rd. 9336 west of
Florida City; the Shark Valley Visitor Center and northern part of the park can be
reached off of U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) west of State Hwy. 997 and east of Big
Cypress National Preserve. Just west of the preserve and south of Everglades City
via State Hwy. 29 is the Gulf Coast Visitor Center and facilities at Chokoloskee.
Big Cypress: The preserve is accessible off of U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) west of
Everglades National Park and east of Carnestown. Alligator Alley (I-75) also crosses
the northern part of the preserve, from which only hike-in trails are available.
Open:
Everglades: Although most of the park is normally open 24/7 year-round via the
entrance from Florida City, at press time the road is only open to Flamingo from
7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and is closed nightly at West Lake.
Big Cypress: 24/7 year-round.
Visitor Centers:
Everglades: The Ernest F. Coe center is open daily, mid-December to mid-April,
from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Dec. 25, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from mid-April to
mid-December. Currently the Shark Valley, Flamingo, and Gulf Coast centers are
closed, and boat tours have been suspended at the latter two sites. Please check
the park's website for the latest information in advance of your group's arrival.
Big Cypress: Both the Oasis Visitor Center (52105 Tamiami Trail East) and the
Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center (33100 Tamiami Trail East) are open from
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., year-round except for Dec. 25.
Park Admission:
Everglades: $200 for a full-size coach.
Big Cypress: No charge.
Reservations: Not necessary at either park.
Park Telephones and Websites:
Everglades: (305) 242-7700, www.nps.gov/ever
Big Cypress: Oasis Visitor Center (239) 695-1201, Big Cypress Swamp Welcome
Center (239) 695-4758, www.nps.gov/bicy

lurking ominously in or near the shallow waters.
Within the Everglades are nine
separate ecosystems: marine and
estuaries, coastal marsh, mangrove
forests, cypress forests, coastal prairie,

freshwater slough, pineland, freshwater
marl prairie, and finally, hardwood
hammock. This is the country's largest
subtropical wilderness, as well as being
an International Biosphere Reserve and
a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


http://www.nps.gov/ever http://www.nps.gov/bicy

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018

U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The George W. Bush Presidential Center
Enter the World of Miniatures
'Space’ Tours Take Off
South Florida Parks Rebounding After Hurricane Irma
Silverado Stages
ABA Gives Back During Marketplace
Heroes of the Industry
Meet the New Faces at ABA
Outdoor Adventures in Big Cities
ABA Strategic Plan
Tour Stop: Southern Appalachian Sampler
City Guide// OMAHA
Travel Resource: Charlotte
Travel Resource: Louisville
Equipment & Services Guide
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - bb1
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - bb2
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 1
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 2
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 3
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 4
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 5
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 6
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 7
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 8
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - The George W. Bush Presidential Center
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Enter the World of Miniatures
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 'Space’ Tours Take Off
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 13
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - South Florida Parks Rebounding After Hurricane Irma
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 15
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Silverado Stages
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 17
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - ABA Gives Back During Marketplace
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Heroes of the Industry
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Meet the New Faces at ABA
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 21
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Outdoor Adventures in Big Cities
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 23
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 24
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 25
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 26
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 27
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 28
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 29
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - ABA Strategic Plan
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 31
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 32
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 33
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Tour Stop: Southern Appalachian Sampler
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 35
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 36
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 37
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - City Guide// OMAHA
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 39
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 40
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - 41
Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Travel Resource: Charlotte
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Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Travel Resource: Louisville
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Destinations Magazine - January/February 2018 - Equipment & Services Guide
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