Everglades National Park Ready With Ranger-Led Programs For The Winter

Ranger Leon Howell guiding visitors along the Ahinga Trail in Everglades National Park. NPS photo/J Roark

With winter being the "high season" for Everglades National Park, the staff has lined up a number of ranger-led programs to help visitors get the most from the park.

Making winter a great time to visit the park is the fact that during south Florida’s dry season there are few mosquitoes, afternoon storms are gone, and temperatures are cooler.

Everglades National Park is just minutes away from Miami, Homestead, Naples and Key Largo, and whether you have one hour or a full week, the dry winter season is the best time to enjoy the many cultural and natural resources that make the park so special.

Starting Saturday and continuing through March 22, the park will offer more than 85 free ranger led programs for the public each week. These programs include guided walks, talks, bike rides, hikes, canoe trips, evening programs and more! In addition to these free programs, the park’s concessioners also offer daily tram tours in the Shark Valley area of the park, and boat tours in the Flamingo and Gulf Coast areas (prices and times vary).

“There is no better way to enjoy Everglades National Park than by getting out with the experts,” said Superintendent Dan Kimball. “Our diversity of ranger led programs offers something for everyone and we are excited to begin a new visitor season, and our 66th year of guided programs!"

Each year an average of 80,000 visitors participate in a ranger-led program; over a half million people explore the park’s visitor centers, museum and art gallery; and many also enjoy the park in self-guided adventures, bringing the total to about one million visitors each year.

Ranger-led programs will be offered daily this winter throughout the various locations of the park, including Royal Palm, Flamingo, Shark Valley and Gulf Coast. The full slate of the park's seasonal programs will begin December 18 at Flamingo, December 21 at Gulf Coast, and December 22 at Shark Valley and Royal Palm.

Schedules may change during the season so be sure to check the schedule before you come. Many programs are available. You can find a rundown of the programs at this site.

Check in or call area visitor centers for current schedules and times. Some ranger-guided programs require reservations in advance. Required reservations are specified in program schedules.

For your safety, visitors are encouraged to consider personal comfort needs and bring water, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear.