Backcountry Hells Bay Chickee - Everglades National Park
Liz M.
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2023

Update not so great

This is the third time we've been to this site, but we chose it because we wanted to see the new platforms which were installed this past year. The platform is a little shorter than the last one (closer to the water), but looks nice and has ladders. However, the decking used on the new Hells Bay chickee hurts ones feet after just a few minutes of walking on it, and tears up socks. Shoes are a necessity. The two platforms are also significantly closer together than before which is less than ideal. I certainly missed the angled walkways that made the old platforms feel more separate. We were happy to be the only ones on the platforms that night. The cooking table is definitely better than the previous one; it is stable and quite wide. It you relied on the overhead crossbeams on the older style chickees to store fishing poles or tie up hammocks, you're out of luck. The new roofs do not have these. There's still places on either side, but not the multiple slats like the older chickees. The new posts are made of metal, so they feel a little more secure than previously. Lastly, the porta-potty was not updated. It still does not lock and is currently held close with a carabiner when not in use. It was also so incredibly full and was in desperate need of being emptied. The southern platform definitely got wafts of the port-potty due to the fullness and how close the new platforms are. Overall, we will continue to visit this chickee, but the type of decking and how close the new platforms are to each other is a less than ideal. I hope Everglades NP talks to users before updating any of the other chickees.

SiteNorthern Platform
Month of VisitFebruary
  • The chickee at Hells Bay; notice how close the platforms are.
  • Noticed the new decking on the platform. You can also see the crossbars on the roof that you can no longer tie around as they are flush with the roof.