Get ready for Flamingo, the first weekend in December, that's the 2nd-4th. We will be one of the last events in 2016 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service!
Flamingo is right about the southernmost point of the continental US. When you look at the map of Florida, it's right by that tip of nowhere that juts out into Florida Bay, which separates the mainland from the Keys.
To get there from anywhere on the east coast, just drive down the Turnpike till it ends in Homestead/Florida City take the first right and follow the signs!
To get there from anywhere on the west coast, just drive down I-75 to the Turnpike, keep going, till it ends in Homestead/Florida City take the first right and follow the signs!
Do You want to see alligators? if so, we have lots of them & we can tell you where to go to see them!
Are You afraid of gators? You shouldn't be. But in any case, you probably won't see many on the trails because the water should still be high.
So you've been watching Discovery Channel and know that the Everglades in South Florida is the only place where you can see gators and crocs side by side!
Well they're there! You might see one on a paddle, but they're pretty reclusive. In any case, we can tell you were to go see some of the biggest crocs in the park.
(Just go to the Marina Store and/or the inside ramp...)
Well, Flamingo is pretty famous for its bug populations and their voracious appetites for human blood. You DEFINITELY don't want to go camp in August...
But by December, the cool breezes usually have the bug populations in check, if not check mate. Often, we will have no bug problem this time of year, other times, there might be some bugs, particularly at sunrise & sunset. That's why we're doing the Rendezvous later than usual.
Bring repellant and if you have a bug suit or head net, don't leave it at home. Not because you'll need it, but just in case...
It really shouldn't be bad at all...
Flamingo used to have a lodge and cabins. They were built in 1966 for the 50th Anniversary.
They were GREAT, but they're history. Katrina and then Wilma flooded them out in 2005 and they were removed.
Now what we have is camping. We will be based out of the Flamingo Campground which has walkup and drive up sites as well as RV sites with and without hookups. For the folks in tents, we will have our own signup system when you register. The folks that want to plug in, should go to the normal reservation system and reserve in the T Loop. For those of you who, like me, enjoy hard walls, soft beds and a hot shower at the end of a hard day of paddling, there are plenty of motels less than an hour away (but not much less) in Florida City. For those of you looking for solid walls with a quirky vibe, we have made special arrangements with The Everglades International Hostel (you really need to see it to believe it).
Really, all kinds.
We have river paddling, just like up north, though the river don't always flow in the same direction.
We have lake paddling, just like up north, how big or how little do you want your lake? We have Whitewater Bay 13 miles across and we have little Coot Bay Pond at under 300 meters across.
We have Bay paddling, just like up north. You can do a 40 mile trip to Islamorada out of sight of land and have an average depth of under 3 feet.
What we have that no one else has is sawgrass and mangroves. There is nothing sweeter than paddling through an open sawgrass meadow in high water, easy paddling and an open field as far as the eye can see. Except for maybe finding your way though a mangrove maze and squeezing through riverine tunnels that make you put away your paddle and just pull yourself along.
You might say we don't have clear water spring paddling, but take a look down in the water in the middle of Craighead's Pond & you'd be hard pressed to say it isn't spring water...it's just in the middle of a grassy glade, miles across...
For more details on the paddles (and there will be more detail there soon, go to our Paddle Trip Options page.