Captivating Souvenir from a Florida World Heritage Site
This fridge magnet image is one of the scenes found in the Everglades National Park and a worthy souvenir from southern Florida. The Everglades National Park attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to learn about its fragile, protected ecosystem in ranger guided tours, and to enjoy fishing, hiking and camping on the million and a half acres of nature reserve wetlands.
The Everglades is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, and the Everglades National Park has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve and a Wetland of International Importance in addition to being listed as a World Heritage Site. The Everglades National Park was established in the 1940s to protect the rapidly dwindling wilderness and wetlands that was quickly being drained and developed for growing south Florida cities.
Protected Creatures and Things to Do
The ecosystem of the Everglades National Park supports a diversity of wildlife and is home to 36 protected and endangered species, such as the West Indian manatee and the American crocodile. Over 350 different species of birds live in the park, as well as 50 species of reptiles and 300 different kinds of animals.
Hiking or boating in the Everglades waterways allows visitors to get a glimpse of the natural beauty and wonders of Florida's wetlands. Park rangers present narrated tours to thousands of students every school year, as well as to many families and groups who camp, picnic, hike and fish in the park.
One of the park specialties for outdoor enthusiasts is the Tamiami Trail Triathlon, which challenges park-goers to take a bicycle tour at Shark Valley, a canoe trip to Sandfly Island, and finish with a hike at the Oasis Visitor Center. Elevated camping platforms called chickees are available for backcountry camping, but there are also two drive-in camping sites.