Big Cypress National Preserve with Merevin

Published: 12/5/13 9:18 PM in Grand Trees, National, North America, Travel.
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As much as Kevin and I love to travel to see the many facades of the world, we also enjoy experiencing the local beauty that surrounds us in South Florida. Being the only tropical region in the continental United States, the southern part of Florida has a wide variety of landscapes to visit and explore. One of those landscapes is showcased within Big Cypress National Preserve.

Big Cypress National Preserve = Northern Everglades

Although these two are very distinctly different; one being a swamp and the other a marsh, Big Cypress National Preserve is often referred to as the northern part of Everglades National Park. The supply of freshwater that stands in Big Cypress is essential to the health of the Everglades.

Big Cypress National Preserve covers 790,000 acres of the state of Florida in a vast cypress swamp that supports a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities, and a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther. Kevin and I were actually lucky enough to see a Florida panther during our drive along Loop Road, but were not fast enough to snap a picture.

Visiting Big Cypress National Preserve and the Kirby Storter Boardwalk

Kevin and I took a short day trip to Big Cypress National Preserve to take in the area before we plan some more involved swamp hikes early next year. We have driven through the preserve quite a few times on our way across the state, but have never had the time to stop at the ranger stations to take a good look around.

Any trip to Big Cypress or the Everglades is going to provide plenty of Alligator sightings and this time was no exceptions. These prehistoric beauties seem to love relaxing in the deeper canals located along the roadways. Personally I have always been fascinated by alligators. They are so intimidating and yet I wish I could pet them. They truly are interesting and beautiful creatures.

Kevin and I decided to take a relaxing stroll along the Kirby Storter Boardwalk which takes you into the swamp and through a cypress dome. The trail was very peaceful and easy since the entire thing is along a raised boardwalk that only takes about a total of an hour to walk, there and back. This is probably the shortest and easiest trail in Big Cypress National Preserve, but it was still worth a visit. It was a good way to see the swamp and stay dry.

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Alligators are truly gorgeous and intimidating, even when inactive. They completely resemble the prehistoric roots of this old world environment. The overall design of their bodies is ingenious as they are perfectly suited for both land and water maneuverability.


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The swamp is a completely peaceful and serene environment even on a cloudy and slightly rainy day. The peaceful stillness of the water coupled with the stoic beauty of Pond and Bald Cypress trees, make the swamp an amazing place to loose yourself in.


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The Oasis Visitor Center was a great place to stop and learn more about the Big Cypress National Preserve. There is a very informative film about the area and plenty of information to be had from the rangers there.


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The Kirby Storter Boardwalk leads you into the swamp as it takes you through a cypress dome. The boardwalk was a very easy hike with an open area at the end where one can sit and admire their surroundings.


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The distinctive leaves of the Bald Cypress are one of the easiest ways to identify a Bald Cypress from a Pond Cypress. Since both trees are so similar and grow entangled in each other’s areas, it can be hard to make the distinction.


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Cypress trees are one of my all time favorite trees. They’re shape and solidarity it so beautiful amongst their watery environments. The most recognizable and beautiful parts of these trees is the way they flair out to elegantly make contact with the water.


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The end of the trail allows for a gathering of people to stop and take a moment to admire the swamp that surrounds them. The only negative of this trail is that you can still faintly hear the cars rushing by on the nearby road. However this white noise fades into the background in this still environment.


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