The Everglades are a BIG place, what we have left is over 670,000 acres in 3 counties, not including the Natl. Park. 3a South is the largest of the Conservation Areas. From Alligator Alley there are no roads or levees for over 25 miles south, and it is almost 25 miles wide. For those not familiar with the area, landmarks are not as easy to distinguish as some other places, this sawgrass and trees looks alot like that other sawgrass and trees. There are alot of Camps out there and they all belong to someone. We will not be stopping at any of these Camps without the owners permission. Some folks ain't exactly as social as others, if you know what I mean. Some of them have had things stolen or vandalized over the years, and some even have chains or cables blocking the entrance. Most of the Camps have very limited parking (3 or 4 boats). The ride that I have planned will cover about 60 miles. Remember to bring extra fuel.
This is a breakdown of each leg of the trip so those of you from out of town will have an idea what to expect.
(1) MM35 ramp to Andrews Ave - aprox. 3 miles
Right now the water is low. the first couple hundred yards going into the trail is very narrow and winding with limited visibility. PLEASE GO SLOW and always be aware of oncoming boat traffic. As you come out of the willows the trail will open up and then fork, stay to the left and follow the trail South to Andrews Ave.
(2) Andrews Ave to Holiday Trail - aprox. 8 miles
As we continue South and East you will see a treeline on your left, this is the levee for the Miami Canal and the clump of tall trees is Picnic Island. We will stop at the slough in front of Browns Camp.
(3) Holiday Trail West near Hawk Camp â€“ aprox. 13 miles
This is the longest leg so you may want to grab 2 from the cooler before we leave. About a mile west of Browns Camp the Survey Trail forks, stay to the right and continue due West. As we go along we will pass by several Camps along the way. We will stop at a slough just North of Hawk Camp near the main trail.
(4) Hawk to the corner of Indian Land â€“ aprox. 3 miles
The trail goes around several tree islands and goes Southwest to the posted corner of Indian Land. Signs clearly marked â€“ NO TRESPASSING â€“ We will stop here so everyone can see where NOT to go.
(5) Corner to Microwave Tower â€“ aprox. 4 miles
We will follow the posted trail West on the Southern side of the Indian Land until we get into the cypress then go Southeast to the Microwave Tower at the edge of the Deep Water Canal.
(6) Tower to the Swimminâ€™ Hole â€“ less than 1 mile
Looking at the Tower take the Deep Water Canal to the right and a little ways down youâ€™ll see the Big Rocks at the Swimminâ€™ Hole. The ground behind the Big Rocks has lots of exposed rocks. The water by the Big Rocks is shallow and has large rocks just below the surface, GO VERY SLOW
(7) Swimminâ€™ Hole to the Hilton â€“ aprox. 5 miles
Take the Deep Water Canal back by the Tower and follow the trail around to the right and go South through some of the most AWESOME Cypress Trails. I am pretty sure an 8â€™ wide boat will fit, I will try to keep us on the wider trails and out of trouble This is the back way to the Everglades Hilton. We will go just past it and then come around.
LUNCH at the Swimminâ€™ Hole
( 8 ) Hilton to the Tower â€“ aprox. 4 miles
Weâ€™ll take the main trail from the Everglades Hilton back to the Microwave tower.
(9) Tower to the Corner of Indian Land â€“ aprox. 4 miles
There are many different trails that run through the cypress near the Tower, I will try to take a different one back until we get to the Indian Land and the posted trail. From there we go East to the corner.
(10) Corner to Hawk â€“ aprox. 3 miles
We will cut off the main trail and ride the secondary trail back around Duck Camp and to the slough near Hawk Camp
(11) Hawk to Bergerons â€“ aprox. 7 miles
Leaving Hawk we will go North and East through wide open sawgrass trails. As we get closer to Bergerons Camp it starts to dry up, and there are sticky black mud patches and exposed rocks in some places. So be careful. We will stop in the slough just west of the camp.
(12) Bergerons Back to the MM35 Ramp â€“ aprox. 6 miles
We should avoid the main trail that leaves and goes due East to Camp 9 Â½, the water is very low and has exposed rocks especially near the heads.
Leaving Bergerons we will go North around the willows and then head back East towards Hippie Head and then around the cypress head and back to the Ramp-o-rama.
On this last leg the water is very low and the trails get skinny, REMEMBER as we get closer to the ramp this is the same narrow, winding trail with limited visibility that we started out on. PLEASE GO SLOW and always be aware of oncoming boat traffic, especially near the ramp.