We stayed here on our way to Key West and we were pleasantly surprised by how well kept the campground was. The bathrooms were closed but it didnt say why. The sites are electric which is nice in the heat. From what the ranger said this park is the only one open this time of year.
This park is nice for a short bike ride or hike along it’s nature trail. Don’t forget the kids helmets because it’s a law in Florida for them to wear them and the park ranger will remind you of it. The park is also on a river you can kayak or put a canoe in. They even provide rentals. The campground is well maintained and has three good size shower houses. The RV sites are pretty close together especially in the back. There is a nice playground by the river and a few historic markers to explore. The location is about 30mins to the beach depending on traffic. We visit Naples and Marcos island which were both nice but crowded. The park is also a short distance to the northern part of Everglades National Park. You can easily hitch a ride on an airboat tour there. We visited in December and the mosquitoes were definitely thirty that time of year! The ones that got in ate us alive while we slept in our camper. I still have nightmares but with out a breeze that’s just florida. Overall, great little park to explore just sleep under a mosquito net.
This seemed like the only option around for staying on the east side of everglades. It's a very large campground. We had no problem getting a site (apparently they are first come first serve but I've read reviews that there is a way to reserve sites) during "peak season". Some of the sites are fairly close to one another but we got one on the perimeter which was really nice and a little more private. The showers are huge plus (beware water only gets luke cold at best- no hot or warm water in the winter) and having flushing toilets are always nice. Tables and fire rings at each campground. I believe I read that you needed to bring your own wood but I think you could buy some. The campground is in a pretty ideal location. Close to a couple great trails (Anhinga and Long Pine Key). We were able to break up our 2 days in the everglades by splitting it with an day in Biscayne bay- driving too and from the campground to Biscayne NP was very reasonable from this "home base". The only down side to the campground is how close sites are to one another (again perimeter sites seem a little better). Additionally, walking around and seeing people sitting in their RVs watching TV kind of takes away from the camping experience (especially a NP). It's also pretty pricey for camping in a tent. Lastly, their staff is terrible. They're not bright (they'll have trouble figuring out which sites are open and then tell you sites that are obviously taken are actually open). They also lack any customer service skills and can be rude at times.
Amazing campground (as long as you're cool with pit toilets and without showers). Great picnic tables and fire rings. We're tent campers and loved this place. There's only 7 tent sites and they're on the opposite side of the lake from the RV's (I think there's about 10 RV sites). It's far enough from the road that's it's quiet (about a mile on gravel from the state route to the campsites). Stars are great. Bathrooms are clean. Bring your own firewood. We didn't see any hikers or OHVers (their website says this campground is commonly used by them). There was an alligator swimming in the lake at dusk. Don't make the mistake like we did and wear sandals though, the chiggers/no see ums are terrible.
My husband and I lucked out to get an absolutely gorgeous day to tent camp at this campground. The next day was back to Florida’s hot and humidity. This campground is in one of natire’s most wonderful places, big cypress national preserve. This campground has tent and rv sites. No electric sites. We went on a Sunday and the whole campground was full, it’s a popular spot, would recommend making reservations in advance. There are vault toilets over on the rv sites and flush toilets by the tent sites. There are campground hosts, fire pits in the tent area, and a lake that does have alligators, because this is Florida. The nite sky was perfect so many stars to see. Little to no noise pollution. Make sure to bring your insect repellent, I got eaten alive once the sun started setting. No trails at the campground but there are trails within big cypress. Tent campsites were level and not right on top of one another. There were a few trees for shade as well.
This campground is in the Everglades National Park but is managed by a third-party. That was good for us because we were able to stay here during the government shutdown. We stayed for 8 nights at the beginning of January 2019.
First, the website shows that sites are first-come, first-serve except for a limited number of sites that can be reserved. I called and was told reservations were not accepted so we took our chances on getting a spot. When we arrived, the agent stated that there were only 3 spots available for the 3 nights we were going to originally stay (we weren’t sure about connectivity). Needless to say, that was incorrect, there were tons of spots available for the time frame we were there. Anyway, we also found out that they do take reservations somewhere on-line, but I couldn’t find the website for it. We stayed three nights in spot #5. It was a good spot, but our solar was struggling because it was in shade most of the afternoon. We decided to stay a few extra days to explore more. Connectivity was not an issue – Verizon has 3-4 bars without booster. AT&T has no service though. With our booster, we were able to get about 1-2 bars of AT&T and thankfully one of our phones as Wi-Fi call capability, so we were able to make and receive calls. Keep that in mind if you are AT&T only. The campground Flamingo about 40 miles from this campground does have AT&T connectivity, but we didn’t explore the campground to see how it compared.
When we decided to stay longer, we were told we had to move because someone reserved spot #5. That was fine because we wanted to move spots for better solar anyway. The agent said she couldn’t look up which spots were available for the time frame we wanted, but we could drive around and find a few spots we wanted and then she could look it up. That seemed weird, but we did that. We found that spot #66 had great access to solar in the mid-late afternoon so chose it. Thankfully that spot was available. There was some confusion about whether we could reserve it or not. Each person we spoke to said something different, but after many tries, it ended up working out and we were able to stay longer.
We stayed another 5 nights at our new spot #66. Solar was much better there, and we had a nice view of the lake. Both spots we were on were level and it seemed most in the park were level. The road coming in is paved so no issues with accessibility. Since the campground is in the park, you do have to pay the entrance fee, but we have the national park pass. Of course, because of the shutdown there was no one at the gate anyway.
We didn’t inspect the bathrooms or shower houses, but the park was clean and well-maintained. They have a camp host on-site and we did not see any issues that were seen in other parks because of the shutdown. For some reason, the dumpsters were not emptied until our last day there so some people had put their trash next to the dumpsters, but it was otherwise clean. Very quiet and peaceful as well.
The campground has a lot of slash pine trees which give some shade, but still allows some solar. There were not a ton of good spots for solar IMO (at least in the winter), but anything by the lake would be good. There are no hookups at this site, but they do have potable water and a dump station near the entrance to the campground.
Tons of things to do near this campground. There are trails and of course exploring the Everglades. Homestead/Florida City is about a 20 min drive and you can get groceries, gas and whatever you need there. Robert is Here is a nice fruit stand in Florida City you may want to check out. Worth a trip to the Flamingo visitor center to see crocodiles and manatees. I would also recommend the Royal Palm visitor center and the anhinga trail.
Overall, despite the confusion and frustration over the reservations, it was a nice place and we would stay again. It is closed in the summer months which makes sense, it would be way too hot, and mosquito infested for the summer. Mosquitos were tolerable when we were there, but you need bug spray.
Very secluded, obviously you can only get there by kayak or canoe, perhaps a smaller boat on high tide. Water is nearly fresh this far into the glades, good place for a bath. A bit small, it would be cramped if two or more groups arrived there at the same time.
Love that they don't make visitors sign in, there's people of all ages, & very kind staff! Laundry, showers, grills, a pool.
Sites are pretty close together without much privacy. Nice, well kept park, but the maintenance people closed ALL the bathrooms for cleaning for up to two hours late mornings every day we were there. Otherwise nothing too notable - there were some hiking trails available to take advantage of, but we had bad weather. I might be willing to come back with better weather and more accessible bathroom facilities!
There are plenty of RV spots around a cute lake. We stayed in a tent only campsite which was a little farther from the lake. They were far apart from each other and did not seem too crowded. It seems every site was full the weekend we camped there. There is no shade in the tent only campgrounds and as this is south Florida, I recommend bringing some sort of pop-up or tarp to escape the sun. They had pretty great fire rings that were high with a grate across the top. There is one building with bathrooms and showers. It was pretty clean while we were there. There is also animal proof trash cans that are near by as well.
Keep in mind that there are no stores anywhere near this campground. It is located in the big cypress preserve almost right between Miami and Naples. You have to bring everything you need with you (water, firewood, food, etc). There aren't many activities in the campground besides a short walk around the lake. The lake is NOT for swimming as there are gators so you'd have to drive to get to the activities.
All in all it is nice if you are looking just to relax and hang out around your campsite for a few days but it is a littler underwhelming.
Sawgrass Recreation area primary businesses are airboat tours and petting zoo, however they have a small primitive campsite at the back as well. I was trying to ride my bicycle from Ft. Laudardale to South Bay, but the head wind was so strong that I was moving at a snail's pace. Luckily, this place is conviniently located just off the state route 27, an oasis of civilization on a 30 mile strech of nothingness. the camground is only open during dry season, which is late winter.
The Florida Trail starts at the Oasis Visitor's Center off of US 41 and goes up through the state and finishes off in the panhandle. I haven't completed the entire trail but I have been out to the 7 mile camp several times. This trail is the real deal. Once you're on the trail you're on your own through some pretty tough terrain. Lots of water, mud, and sometimes debris in the way of the trail. There are no utilities and cell service is unreliable in certain parts along the trail.
Hiking out on the trail isn't an easy task and you should do your research before heading out there. You'll need to filter your own water and practice leave not trace principals.
It's a challenge but well worth it! Lots of wildlife to see and undisturbed nature to enjoy. I'm looking forward to one day completing the entire thing!
Note: Since this is in South Florida, the winter months are the best time to camp. Any other time of the year is pretty hot and full of mosquitos.
Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples Florida https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Collier-Seminole
It’s quite possible not many folks know about this State Park. The campground proper may not seem that large, but Collier-Seminole State Park is 7,271 acres huge! Almost all of it is part of the great mangrove swamp, one of the largest mangrove swamps in the world.
Even still, there are 105 camp sites tucked away on dry ground. All have electric and water, a fire pit and picnic table.
When entering the campsite area, the first loop to the right is a designated tent camping only loop. 19 sites in all. The sites are reasonably sized and permit two tents. There are palms and hardwoods providing canopy for shade above and undergrowth to give some privacy but you can still see and hear your neighbors.
The RV/Camper loop looks more like an inverted triangle with several loops within.
Three Restroom/showerhouse’s are strategically located so it is not a far walk to reach one from anywhere in the camping area. One of which has laundry facilities. There is also a RV dump station available. Firewood is sold in two locations in the RV loop.
**Read park rules and regs online…especially if you plan on bringing a pet or had thoughts of using a hammock.
Within the campground itself there is only one trail, but just outside is another 6.5 mile that winds through cypress swamps and offers a primitive campsite. However, you must register with the Ranger Station. Boating is the big draw and more specifically fishing. A fee of $5 gets you in the State Park for the day, and most Day users utilize the boat ramp. Canoe rentals are available as well as bicycles. Paddlers must submit a float plan with the Ranger. Mountain bikers have a 3.5 mile trail through a hammock and pine forest, again, you must register st the Ranger Station before use.
Don’t lose sight that you are in a very wild area. Bears, panthers, bobcat, gators, the invasive python, along with several poisonous snakes call this home. Also bring bug repellent! When there is a “skeeter-meter” on the Ranger Station wall, you had better be prepared.
Like most parks, a rich and varied history surrounds Collier-Seminole State Park. All of which is quite fascinating. Three distinctly different Seminole Wars took place here. The dredging and construction of US 41 which cuts across the Everglades that connects east with west began here. In fact, the only Bay City Walking Dredge in existence is found in this park.
The Collier-Seminole State Park is close to so many great SWFL things to see and do.
During what they refer to as “season,” Dec-Mar. you’ll be hard pressed to find a vacancy, as snowbirds migrate here in droves. But from May through October, you’ll find several vacancies.
Collier-Seminole State Park should be on your short list of places to camp!
Campground: Monument Lake Campground, FL
Monument Lake Campground is located within the Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL.https://www.nps.gov/bicy/planyourvisit/monument-lake-campground.htm) This is a small campground area located near the halfway mark across US 41 (the Original Alligator Alley) between Naples and Miami…on the north side of the roadway at mile marker 60. There are several campgrounds along this stretch of US 41, but it appears most are designed for the self-contained RV'er to roost during the winter…much like migratory birds. In fact, there are 10 campgrounds within the Big Cypress National Preserve, some are first come-first served and others it is best to secure reservations on Recreation.gov.
Amenities: True enough, if you read any articles or reviews on Monument Lake Campground…amenities are scarce. So do not anticipate glamping in style…if you don't bring "it" all with you…you won't have it (No stores for 20+ miles in either direction). Restrooms are located mid-way on the west side of the Lake, and pit latrines are located mid-way on the east side of the Lake. There is running water at this campground…but we bring our own…or filter what is available (well water tables can be "iffy" in SWFL). No electrical, water or sewer hook-ups.
The Lake is not for swimming…period! This is gator country and while you may not see one in the lake, they are present. Gators travel pretty far to find reliable water and sustainable food source. Keep small pets and chldren away from the water's edge and within reach. I've seen folks fish from canoes and small row boats.
Campsites are grassy (but realize this is Florida and everything is sandy), complete with picnic table and fire pit. Take great care with campfires, as winter months are dry and susceptible to raging fires. No shelters, so I recommend a tarp or pop-up shelter for sun shade.
Camping here in January is a bit of a crapshoot. Weather can be warm and sunny or cold and sunny from day to day. Mosquitos, sand gnats, chiggers and small flies can be found in abundance or nonexistent. I recommend Sawyer spray and lotion, Sunsect and/or Thermacell to combat insects around the campsite.
There are "animal proof" steel storage containers. Most signs point to raccoons or palmetto rats (think large Gerbil…cute but destructive), but bear and panther roam these parts with regularity. I also recommend picking up a container of fire ant granules to bring along to apply to any active sand mounds (kills the colony quickly)…fire ant bites smart, well…burn and on most leave a nasty blister.
As stated earlier, definitely use Recreation.gov to reserve your site well in advance for Dec-April camping. We were shocked there were so many vacancies following a holiday weekend, but that's not the norm. Sites are $28 for RV (26 sites), and $24 for tent sites (10). As a tent camper, I prefer sites along the north side of the lake (15-18)…more shade trees to string hammocks, further from the sound of US 41 traffic and long lake views, but you'll pay the $28. Keep in mind that some campgrounds close randomly for various reasons (renovations, seasonal rains, no hosts). Check the website for alerts.
Things to do and see: Not much to do at the campground, quite frankly. There is a service road at the NE corner of the campground that angles off NE and will intersect with The Florida Trail. But nearby, there are plenty of interesting places to visit and explore. Most notable is Shark Valley Visitor Center…20 minutes east and offers bicycling, walking or tram along a 15 mile loop in the Everglades. If you want to see hundreds of gators up close and personal…this is the place. It is a National Park, so there is a fee. (https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/svdirections.htm) Directly across from Shark Valley is the Miccosukee Cultural Center http://www.miccosukee.com/indian-village/ where you can learn about the indigenous tribe of this area. Also to the east about ten minutes is the Big Cypress Gallery Center of Clyde Butcher http://clydebutcher.com/big-cypress/swamp-walks/, and at six minutes is the Oasis Visitor Center (more of a nature center) which not only will educate you about the area, it is the official Southern Terminus of The Florida Trail (http://www.floridatrail.org/) so you can start or end your 1300 mile journey here. H.P.Williams Roadside Park is west ten miles and Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center and Everglade City a bit further.
There is a rich history in these swamps and waterways. Several great marked canoe trails to explore nearby the campground (Mitchell Landing, Turner River Canoe Trail, and Halfway Creek Canoe Trail). Note that several chickee huts have been damaged by Hurricane Irma, so check with park staff on the best on-trail camping spots. Several airboat ride vendor locations along US 41.
So while the campground itself may not have a lot to offer, there is much to see and do nearby…and its way better than staying in the big city.
Product Review: Tredagain Claystone Oxford boots
First glance at the Tredagain Claystone Oxford boot https://tredagain.com,quality construction, sturdy to the touch, thick but supple leather, and comfortable cradling fit.
The leather upper gives a combination of an aged, distressed appearance. Tredagain describes it as a full-grain waxed upper. I find the classic moccasin toe of the Claystone model attractive and stylish. Tredagain branded the Claystone an Oxford, but I would describe it more as a "chukka" boot.
As a TheDyrt Review Ranger, periodically, I'll have opportunity to review outdoor products at discounted or no cost. I was given the opportunity to review the Tredagain Claystone Oxford both with a discount code and I found them on sale over the holidays. Bonus!
The "tricot" style liner mimics a suede-like appearance visually and to the touch. The shoe laces give the appearance of leather the same coloring of the boot leather. No clue if this was a forethought by the manufacturer, but a nice touch. I did find that it was necessary to double knot said shoe laces or they came untied due to their slickness.
Boot upper stitiching appears uniform and stylish in accents. The bonding of the APX rubber sole to the leather upper is well done, leaving no trace of glue marks on or puckers in the leather.
As you read about Tredagainhttps://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tredagain-leaves-a-better-footprint-with-shoe-line-made-with-upcycled-tires-300256631.html)you learn every outsole contains 50% upcycled rubber compound called APX. All upcycled soles are produced here in the US of A! Diverting roughly 3,000 tires yearly from landfills and converting them into clean rubber compounds. How's that for sustainability. Their company mantra: "Leave A Better Footprint." Gotta love that! Tredagain is based in Austin, TX.
The sole appears rugged and durable, yet is quite flexible. Nothing is noted on the Tredagain website about the Claystone Oxford possessing a shank of any type for added support or protection and I was able to feel rocks, branches and such pressing up into the bottom of my foot while hiking. I also noticed the tight tread picked up and retained tiny pebbles, shell, etc from trails…so I would not describe the sole as self-cleaning. Casual wear created no such problem.
Remarkably, much though went into the removable anatomical footbed. It is well-cushioned, comfortable and thicker than what most companies provide.
Wearability: I found the Tredagain Claystone Oxford model true to size, just as the company representative advised when I inquired. I wear a 9.5 in almost all my shoes/boots…and the Claystone Oxford's in 9.5 fit nicely. If comfort is king…the Tredagain Claystone Oxford's reign!
Although, I'll keep that in an urban or casual hiking setting. I would not recommend them for backpacking or treking on rock strewn trails as they lack the torsional or vertical support my feet need in footwear. I do see myself wearing the Claystone Oxford's often for everyday use. It should be noted that Tredagain does not advertise the Claystone Oxford as a hiking or backpacking boot.
Be forewarned: The shoes possess a very strong leather treatment odor initially. Think new baseball mitt smell. Personally, I like the smell, but other household members and vehicle passengers may find it overpowering.
Parting shots: I like the boots..a lot, and I look forward to their longevity. But what sets this company apart from (and ahead of) many other companies is their customer service. What attracts and keeps me loyal to product brands, is both dependable, durable goods and excellent customer service. When I called Tredagain with a question, a real live young lady answered the phone. She entertained and answered my questions, gave me her name and advised to call and ask for her personally, if there was ever a problem. To me…that's huge!
Tredagain Claystone Oxford boots receive 5 stars from me!
TL;DR Great for RVs, sucks for tents
Stayed for 2 nights in the tent loop in early January and encountered several problems with the campground.
- Every night at 7pm the tent sites were swarmed with a fly hatch (may flies, I’m guessing). We couldn’t breathe without inhaling them. All campers were forced inside their tents at that time and for the rest of the night. Fires didn’t help. We mentioned the situation to a Ranger who was picking up the trash outside of our campsite and suggested that they refer new comers to a different section of the loop because sites 8-10 were the worst. Ranger said it was not her job and that she would not pass the information on to the camp host. Their RVs were parked RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER and we saw them drinking together at sunset, since their sites didn’t have the fly hatch, but no: She would not pass this along and spare the next campers. The positive is that the mosquitos weren’t bad. Just cleaning the dead bugs from your ears and nose gets nasty fast.
- Old reviews on the campground mention that there are showers. In fact, there are showers in the restrooms. However, no one is allowed to use them except apparently the camp host and ranger. We had been snorkeling the day before and wanted to rinse off the saltwater. When we asked the camp host where the closest place to buy a shower was, she said she had no idea and suggested we go ask some other campgrounds and see if anyone would let us. This seems like something a camp host should know. But for reference, the answer is: there aren’t any showers for sale. The best we could find was 10 miles west down the road at the Skunk Ape Museum there’s a campground that will sell you a $25 tent site and as many people as you have with you can shower and then just not use the site. For a family, that’s a decent deal. For the 2 of us, we just went on without them. We did see people washing their hair and taking birdbaths in the dish sink if you need.
- As we were packing up, a ranger dropped by and we spoke briefly and pointed out a fire ant mound near our site that we had been fastidiously avoiding. She immediately came back and threw some kind of stuff on it that causes them to run away and create a nest elsewhere. She clarified that it was NOT an insecticide and all it did was make them mad. No surprise, they ran over onto us and started biting us. She could’ve just waited until we were done packing up, but again, no one who works there seems to think that tent campers are part of their job. I’m pretty pissed about the fire ant stings though. It’s one thing to not know about showers, it’s another to sick fire ants on people while knowingly saying “this’ll make them mad!”
So basically the review is this: if you want to boondock in an RV, this is a beautiful place to do it. It’s got a little pond with a couple of gators and beautiful views of marl grass prairie. You can get away from the fly hatch, take a shower, block out the night traffic noise, and hopefully avoid the fire ants. For tent camping, this place was the worst we’ve stayed in for a while. While a lot of things can’t be controlled, the host nor ranger were ever helpful (and sometimes actively making the experience worse!), though they were very chummy with RV campers. Bathrooms were clean though, which was fantastic.
Chickees, Seminole for "thatched roof," are one of the coolest features of the national park. There are several of these available along the Wilderness Waterway (this one is at marker 99) located on the inside (non-Gulf side of the islands).
Chickees are raised platforms that provide camping options when there isn't any dry land available. However, they can only sleep 12 (6 on each side) and they often get reserved quickly. Keep in mind that you can only get your permit for these sites 24 hours in advance of entering the park. So be at the ranger station early the day before you plan to start your trip.
There is a port-o-john available on the chickee but beware, if the tides haven't been in favor of the park service it might be full! You do need a free standing tent for these platforms. While hammocks have become popular, I would not suggest using them here out of courtesy of other visitors. While surrounded by water, fires are not permitted on these structures.
For more information on chickees and planning your adventure paddling the Wilderness Waterway, check out this awesome site:https://www.nps.gov/ever/upload/Wilderness_Trip_Planner_2009.pdf
That's right, if you're lucky you can watch sharks feed right off the beach! I've stayed here a couple of times and have seen sharks feeding in the dawn and dusk hours each time (FYI, I don't swim here). I enjoy stopping here when I am traveling via canoe through the Everglades. It's an easy beach to launch and land on and a great place to stop on the outside (meaning the land on the Gulf side vs the sound/inland waters side).
The night sky is absolutely incredible from this piece of Florida real estate and in the winter there is a steady breeze that keeps the bugs at bay. One year I spend New Years Eve camped here and it was absolutely amazing. Talk about ringing in the new year in an incredible place!
The beach is large enough to accommodate several user groups without feeling on top of one another. However, there can be a large amount of garbage on the shore so be kind and pack out your trash and maybe pick up after someone else, too!
It's also close to the Wilderness Waterway so if you've been traveling on the inside via the waterway, this provides a nice change of scenery.
This is one of the sweetest spots in the Everglades. It sits on the boundary of the national park and looks out across the 10,000 Islands and it's right at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico. I often paddled from inland waters (creeks and swamps) all the way out to the Gulf and then back in. This spot is generally the last stop before I head back inland. It is reservable by permits only and is a popular spot in the north end of the park, mainly because there just are many land sites available.
The views from here are incredible and the night sky amazing (despite the glow of Miami in the distant). The beach can be challenging to launch from if the winds are kicking, but usually you can find a spot to push off. There is ample wind right on the beach that can keep the bugs at bay.
This is a fantastic spot to spend a night or two, but before you spend any time here learn a bit about the history of this place. It's a little mysterious and a tad creepy, but it certainly makes staying here more interesting especially if you have an active imagination.
The site itself has a wooden dock that makes it easy to access the island. I always canoe or kayak to this destination and pull my boats on shore, but if you're in a motorized boat there is space to dock. There is a weird cistern that collects fresh water and some say you can find an alligator residing here though I have never seen one in all my trips here.
There is a small flat clearing area where you can pitch your tents. The island is certainly a bit larger but rather overgrown. It can be a popular destination so secure your permit as soon as you can.
The Chickees found in the Everglades is a true experience. They offer a little "floating" oasis among a maze of mangroves. These small wooden structures provide a little solid ground in the sea of grass. Usually the chickees have protected-o-johns but the one at this particular chickee was removed for some time due to the challenges of reaching it to empty it. The tides were not in its favor.
If you are able to reserve one of these highly coveted spots I would certainly suggest it. There are two sides with roofs (chickee means thatched roof) that can accommodate several smaller tents or a large tent on each side. Just be considerate and share the space as you may not be the only folks there.
My favorite place to go, hike and camp is within the Everglades National Park. I honestly don't think you can go wrong with this National Park. There is so many activities that you can do within the park. You can hike, kayak, canoe, take boat tours, bike, and of course see tons of wildlife. I would recommend doing one of the boat tours if you are interested in seeing a lot of wildlife- including alligators. The Canepatch park is one of my favorites. You will need a backcountry permit in order to camp here. You can order that online. To get to the Canepatch park (also known as one of the "backcountry" sites) you have to either take a canoe, kayak, or motorboat. You can not access this site by car. My family and I got more information by calling the "Flamingo" Visitor Center. They were super helpful, and helped us plan out our trip and how to get to the campsite. I believe the permit costs $15 (processing fee), and you also have to pay a small fee ($2) per person. You honestly can't beat this experience. I love that you have to take some sort of water boat to get to the campsite. This makes the experience great, and adds to the outdoor experience. We saw so much wildlife by making the trek to the campsite by motorboat. We kept our eyes peeled for alligators, but unfortunately we didn't see any on our way to the campground or the way back. We did see quite a few beautiful birds. The campground is nice and well taken care. The permits do go pretty fast, so make sure to plan out this adventure in advance and get your permit!
Although in the northern end of the park, it's a great location to camp. Stayed in Site #70, which backs up to the lake with easy access to the trails and facilities. Quiet location.
No cell service, but the entrance to the campground gets good service and often has folks parked around the sign.