I usually stick to National Parks here, but I just had to share this incredible swath of land with you all. It is technically run by the US Department of the Interior as well, so really the only major difference between a National Preserve and National Park is that more recreation is allowed, like hunting and ORV trails, as well as regulated resource extraction.
Now, it may just be a National Preserve, but Big Cypress down is south Florida is every bit as beautiful and important as the Everglades, in my opinion. Situated almost equidistant between Naples and Miami, it is also quite accessible.
The plant life is much the same. Incredibly lush and diverse.
There are some more back roads though, which is a huge plus for me. However, you need to have a special permit to drive them and most of the roads are ORV only. But anyone can walk or bike them.
Masses of birds call this area home, some seasonally, and others year round.
And just like the Everglades, alligators and many other reptiles thrive here.
The mangrove swamps are vast and accommodating… to the birds and alligators, at least.
It is the buffer between the Everglades proper and where the water starts to flow south in Lake Okeechobee. The importance of the health and proper management of Big Cypress cannot be overstated.
Flora and fauna alike abound here. The winters are mild and inviting, and the summers (basically the rest of the year), are buggy, hot, and humid. But manageably so, believe it or not.
It’s an explorers paradise and a nature lovers dream. It’s a tough landscape. To hike and photograph. It’s flat, but general under water.
It’s one of those last places that is still quiet, where one can find solitude. And it’s only a short distance from major cities.
I love sharing this area so much, and it is so rich with photographic opportunities, that in January/ February/ March of 2021 I plan to have two Everglades (based out of Miami) and two Big Cypress (based out of Naples) workshops. As of now, dates are tentative, and registration is not yet open. However, if you would like more information, please email me to express your interest, and I will add you to the list of first notified.