Backcountry Hells Bay Chickee - Everglades National Park
Liz M.
Reviewed Mar. 22, 2021

Great site for a moderate paddler!

The Hell's Bay Chickee is one of 4 that I have visited. The structure itself needs a little love. I liked the angled boardwalk which made it feel a little more separate from the other platform. It is definitely one of the oldest chickees. The porta-potty doesn't lock and someone put a string on it to hold it shut. There are no ladders like some of the new chickees so on a super low tide some may have issues hauling themselves up. There is also no cooking station so there are a lot of areas where camping stoves melted the composite floorboards. However, it is a stable structure and the porta-potty was clean. There were fishing line and hooks wrapped around a few of the posts, but I blame inconsiderate campers for that and not the NPS. The paddle was relatively easy; we had a moderate headwind at one part which may have been more difficult for less experienced paddlers. I thought the trail was well marked from the head of the the Hells Bay Canoe Trail, however, I mapped and planned a lot ahead of time which may have factored in. Heads up that if you are the first paddler of the day, there will be a load of spider webs across the trail. Contrary to some other reviewers, we saw a lot of wildlife! A few dolphins swam by the Chickee and on the paddle we saw sharks, seabirds, and fish. Mosquitos were awful right after sunset, but a strong north wind came in which blew them away. Winds can change drastically and quickly, so make sure to tie of your watercraft really well; we went from flat calm to 25knots in just 5 minutes.

Sitewest platform
Month of VisitMarch
  • Sunset on the Chickee looking north
  • Sunset on the Chickee looking north
  • The 2 platforms of the Hells Bay Chickee
  • Trail marker
  • The view from the porta-potty which didn't have a lock and one couldn't hold shut in 25 knot winds.