Need an Everglades Alternative

The trip I have been planning on for a couple of months is about March 10, to Everglades National Park. But now, I realize that the possible Gov’t shutdown would take place on March 4 and National Parks will probably be closed. I am not cancelling my trip (it is tacked onto the end of a business trip), so I am trying to come up with a contingency plan. Maybe just the visitor center will be closed, but I suppose I would not have access to the ramp. Any ideas for ecologically similar trips in that area?

Where will you be
and how far away are you willing to go. I am assuming you were going to the Flamingo Unit of Everglades National Park.

There is public access (outside the park) to the 10,000 Islands section of Everglades National Park. Might be a problem trying to use a chickee if no reservations, but there are lots of beach campsites on the outer keys section of that unit.

There are some great day paddles to make in the Keys. If you are interested in that area I can give you some info from the book Sea Kayaking Florida (by James Bannon). Not sure on availibility of campsites if you were planning on camping.

There are some very pretty river trips in Central Florida if that might be within your range.


Everglades alternative
I am coming, by car, from Atlanta. So just about anything is more-or-less on the way. I had wanted (and still hope) to do a loop around Cape Sable over the course of 4 days. I don’t know exactly how the gov’t shutdown would affect the park (i.e., I can still park and access the ramp but no one to take my money…or no access at all).

Just looking around the net this evening, I was thinking that an alternative might be the so-called “Great Caluas Blueway.” I’d have to see if I could put together a few days paddling trip involving both closed and open water, with camping opportunities (preferable wilderness) and a safe place to leave my car with belongings.

I have over a hundred trips in the Keys
and dozens more in the Everglades, (both North and south) as well as out of big Cypress preserve.

let me know your likes and dislikes and if you e-mail me I’ll send you some.

What is the deal about the NP closing? I don’t get any news and haven’t heard anything about it.

Jack L

Have you spoken to the park?
I’m not sure how NPS works but even in the rare event of a shutdown usually essential personnel keep working. If they are all off then theres no one to check your permit anyway ;o)>

Good Luck


Loop Alternative
Look at the Ten Thousand Islands section of Everglades National Park. Even if the Park itself is closed there are ramps at Everglades City and Chockoloskee. You can go out the big main pass to Indian or Tiger Key, paddle south to Rabbit and/or Pavilion Key, and then come back to Everglades City or Chokoloskee through Rabbit Pass. This would be all beach camping. If the Chickees are still available even if the park is closed, then you could go a little farther south and return back through part of the Wilderness Waterway and spend one night in a Chickee on your way back to Everglades City. Get a good map and a tide chart for the area since you do not want to be fighting current in the passes or get stranded on some shallow flats at low tides.

If the Keys are more interesting follow up with Jack L. He is the expert there. I am not sure if there are any “loops with camping” available down there since I only planned and did day trips in the Keys. But Jack will know for sure.