Canoeing the Ten Thousand Islands with Merevin

Published: 06/20/14 10:19 PM in National, North America, Travel.
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Kevin has been asking for a canoeing trip for the longest time, so when his birthday rolled around this year we thought “Let’s celebrate with a canoeing adventure through the Ten Thousand Islands”! So we lathered on the sun protection, packed an energy rich lunch, and drove out to Everglades City to begin our adventure.

Completing the Tamiami Triathlon in the Ten Thousand Islands

This trip through the Everglades also gave Kevin and I the chance to complete the canoeing portion of the Tamiami Triathlon. A program with the purpose of getting people outside exploring their nearby national parks!

The three sections of the event include; biking the 15-mile loop from the Shark Valley Visitors Center, hike 3-mile loop from Oasis Visitor Center, and kayak/canoe the 3.5-mile route from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades city.

Since we have already completed the 15-mile bike ride through Shark Valley, all we have left is the 3-mile hike through the Big Cypress Swamp.

Canoeing through the Ten Thousand Islands

Canoeing through open water can be a lot of fun, but can also be a bit harsh since you are completely exposed to the strength of the sun. However when you add thousands of indistinguishable mangrove islands into the equation, the entire experience could become quite nerve-wrecking.

However, as long as you pay close attention to the route outlined on the map provided to you, navigating shouldn’t be too difficult or disconcerting. We found the entire trip very adventurous and, despite the physical labor that comes with canoeing, the experience was very relaxing.

Kevin Banogon gets ready for a 5 mile canoe trip through the Ten Thousand Islands.

Miami travel bloggers, Meredith Lambert and Kevin Banogon canoe through the Ten Thousand Islands.

Meredith Lambert canoes through the Ten Thousand Islands in the front of the boat.


Our canoeing adventure started off well as we made our way into the open water of Chokoloskee Bay toward Sandfly Island. It is always a little nerve-wracking to me to canoe through open water as opposed to down a river with banks on each side. But it was easy to keep our destination in sight as we made our way to the mangrove islands.


Kevin Banogon takes a selfie as he canoes through the Ten Thousand Islands.

The Ten Thousand Islands make a great place to canoe.

Canoeing to Sandfly Island in the Ten Thousand Islands.


We stopped on Sandfly Island to explore the inside of a mangrove island with higher ground. The reason for this island’s higher ground is because the entire island is a shell mound built up by the Calusa Indians, who populated this area over 2,000 years ago.


A couple hikes around Sandfly island in the Ten Thousand Islands.

Remnants of the people that created and lived on Sandfly Island in the Everglades.


Remnants of Sandfly Island’s long human history are still evident today in the structures still standing within the trees. One settler actually built a home on the island where he and his family would live amongst the Everglades.


Miami Travel bloggers enjoy a peaceful canoe trip around the Ten Thousand Islands.

The Ten Thousand Islands are islands made up of clusters of mangroves.

Miami travel bloggers need a break from the city as they canoe through the Ten Thousand Islands.

Kevin Banogon and Meredith Lambert enjoy a relaxing lunch in the Ten Thousands Islands.


While we were stopped on Sandfly Island, we enjoyed a light lunch on the dock. The sense of solitude was relaxing and reenergizing! Getting us ready for the canoe through the mangrove islands and back to the visitor’s center.


Meredith Lambert enjoys the views of the mangroves that make up the Ten Thousand Islands.

The mangroves stand tall in this part of the Everglades National Park.

Clear blue skies above the Ten Thousand Islands on a beautiful day to canoe.


It was a gorgeous day to canoe through the Ten Thousand Islands in the Everglades. The sky was clear with only friendly, fluffy clouds against the beautiful blue of a Florida day. It was definitely hot out, but the consistent breeze made the entire trip enjoyable.


Meredith Lambert and Kevin Banogon continue their canoe trip through the Ten Thousand Islands.

Almost at the end of their journey, these Miami travel bloggers rush to complete their course.

Crabs on the beach of the Ten Thousand Islands in the Everglades National Park.


When we arrived back at the Gulf Coast Visitor’s Center and went to dock our canoe on the beach of the drop area, there were crabs EVERYWHERE! As we pulled up they began scurrying about to avoid the boat. It looked like the entire shore was alive and moving.


After canoeing the 5 mile trek through the Ten Thousand Islands, Meredith and Kevin enjoy watching the little crabs.

Kevin Banogon pulls up the canoe after completing the 5 mile trek through the Ten Thousand Islands.

Kevin Banogon stands proud after canoeing through the Ten Thousand Islands.

Miami travel bloggers, Meredith Lambert and Kevin Banogon pose after their canoe through the Ten Thousand Islands.


After completing our adventure through the Ten Thousand Islands, Kevin and I were extremely proud of another great day spent in a National Park! The Everglades National Park is definitely an under appreciated area of South Florida. I would encourage everyone to take the drive out and explore the solitude of the swamp.


Meredith Lambert and Kevin Banogon visit the Ten Thousand Islands in the Everglades.

Miami travel bloggers visit the Ten Thousand Islands in the Everglades National Park.

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