Sunday, May 17, 2015

usbackroads destination--Highway 41, Big Cypress National Preserve


usbackroads destination--Highway 41, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

Everglades City is on the edge of the Big Cypress National Preserve.  The Interstates in Florida are the only way to travel in urban areas.  Once you get to the end of concrete it is time to shift to the two lane roads to get a feel for the real Florida. Historically, I-75 was known as Alligator Alley.  I am not sure how you view an alligator at 80 mph so our recommendation is to take Highway 41 that crosses the Big Cypress National Preserve to see the gators.

On our trip it was hard to avoid them.  They were everywhere along the road. The best place to see the alligators is right next to the Visitor Center to the Big Cypress National Preserve.  Here is the link to the official National Park Service web site: http://www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm.

In winter, it looked like the Big Cypress area was the best chance of getting a campsite without a reservation.  We did go to Monument Lake Campground and it was a nice campground around a lake with not very many sites (28). Like all National Park Service campgrounds way overpriced!  Here is the link to campgrounds in the preserve:  http://www.nps.gov/bicy/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

The visitor center is the spot to look at gators.  However, this sign is not that assuring about the safety with two legged varmits. Really?  At a visitor center??


So you want to see gators up close and personal?   Well, the good news is they eat very little relatively speaking.  You can find out that information at the "unsafe" visitor center.




Lots of other birds, fish and wildlife next to the "unhungry" gators.



Once you leave the Big Cypress Preserve there are plenty of opportunities to make some noise.


For me the only buzzing I was interested in hearing was watching this guy fly around.  Your mileage may vary.


Big Cypress National Preserve is a huge area with lots to do and places to explore.  You might get stuck here simply because you found a vacant campsite.  There are much worse places than here to be stuck.