And Answers to 11 Questions About The Everglades
Can you drive through the Everglades? Absolutely. This question plus other frequently asked questions about the Everglades in Florida came from Google records. People search for answers on the largest search engine in the world. The problem is you have to ask them one at a time – Florida Travel Blog has solved that single question about the Everglades.
Here are the answers to your questions about the Everglades.
Can you drive through the Everglades?
Yes, you can drive through the Everglades. The two major ways are west to east (or east to west) and from west to southeast. These two drives are the Alligator Alley (I-75) and the Tamiami Trail (Rt. 41).
While the link above gives a detailed comparison between the two routes, in general, Alligator Alley is the fastest way across the Everglades. Tamiami Trail is a few minutes longer, but much more scenic with many attractions along the way including more alligators.
There are a couple of north-south roads such as state route 29 which goes to Everglades City and Rt. 27 which cuts across the Everglades from southeast to northeast out of the Miami area.
What are the Everglades?
The Everglades is a region of south Florida wetlands. Water collects from northern tributaries and flow south through prairies of water-soaked soil and grass. In some spots along the Tamiami Trail and Alligator Alley you can see open fields of waist high grass. Don’t be fooled. There is water flowing under and through those grasslands.
Despite the fields you may see along the highway, the Everglades are also made up of forests, swamps, rivers, lakes, and high ground above the water. This makes the Everglades the most complicated and unique ecosystem in the world.
Are the Everglades dangerous?
For most people the Florida Everglades are not dangerous. If you decide to walk through the middle of a swamp, be aware that there are things that want to sting you, bite you and eat you.
However, the state of Florida and the federal government have made many places to view the Everglades from safe places like boardwalks, trails, parks and elevated stands.
We do advise people who are driving in remote areas like Loop Road and Big Cypress to make sure they have plenty of gas, particularly at night.
Respect for Mother Nature is the best way to stay safe in the Everglades in Florida and any other natural environment.
Is the Everglades a swamp?
The Everglades has many types of terrain. Much is swamp land. The issue is your definition or vision of a swamp.
Our vision of swamp is a tree and mangrove covered landscape with shallow dark water. You could consider the vast prairies of brown grass that sit in water a swamp of a different kind.
If either, or both, of those visions meet your definition of a swamp, then much of the Everglades is a swamp. However, as indicated above, there are other features such as islands, streams, and oasis-like high ground.
Remember, Native Americans lived in the Everglades in Florida for thousands of years before European exploration.
Where are the Everglades located?
South Florida is the general location of the Everglades. There are defined boundaries in some areas, but for the most part, the Everglades spread across many counties in Florida.
If you look at the Everglades map, you can say that most of the Everglades are south of Lake Okeechobee. Of course, water flowing south has been restricted, redirected, and dammed up over the years that caused significant damage to the ecology of the Everglades.
It seems man’s attempts to change the Everglades have not helped to preserve these natural wetlands.
Where to stay in the Everglades?
Considering the vastness of the Everglades, the answer to where to stay in the Everglades is there are not a lot of options.
Our list of places to stay in the Everglades includes;
- A few small hotels and motels in Everglades City. The town is south of the Tamiami Trail on the edge of the ten thousand Islands.
- There are a couple of cottages and homes for rent on the island of Chokoloskee just south of Everglades City.
- Port of the Islands Resort – we make no claims about this “resort” other than they are on the eastern edge of the Everglades about 30 miles from Naples, Florida. We have not stayed here, but their rates are inexpensive.
WARNING – while doing research for this post we discovered that the major booking sites are VERY misleading. Websites like Booking.com, Expedia, Kayak, and VRBO list properties in the Everglades that ARE NOT IN THE EVERGLADES. Once you book the property it turns out they are in Naples, Miami, or some other location.
How big is the Everglades?
The Everglades takes up a significant portion of Florida. The answer to how big is the Everglades is complicated.
The National Wildlife Federation says the Everglades has over 1.5 million acres. The problem with that answer is the Department of the Interior says that Everglades National Park alone has 1.5 million acres. The Everglades extends well beyond the boundaries of the Everglades National Park maps.
In another article by the National Wildlife Federation, they say there are over 2 million acres in the Everglades.
In reality, there are no specific boundaries of this vast ecosystem. The State of Florida says there are over 45 million acres in the entire state. That would mean that about 5% of Florida is the Everglades.
How deep is the Everglades?
There are hundreds of thousands of acres covered with water (and Sawgrass) that is less than a foot deep. On the other hand, if you include the Ten Thousand Islands, there are thousands of acres with much deeper water around the Gulf fringes of the Everglades.
The answer to the question how deep is the Everglades depends upon where you are and what you want to include.
Are the Everglades saltwater?
Most of the water flowing through the Sawgrass plains is fresh water. However, as you get closer to the Gulf of Mexico, saltwater mixes with fresh water to become brackish in color with various levels of salinity.
Is the Everglades worth visiting?
We can only answer the question about the Everglades being worth visiting by saying this is a one-of-a-kind ecosystem in the world. You will see plants, animals other life you will never see anywhere else.
If you have children, we have yet to see a child that isn’t intrigued by the sight of alligators, or thrilled with an airboat ride in the Everglades.
The vast majority of people who visit the Everglades recognize the significance and unique qualities of this environment.