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Everglades National Park adventure!
Published
Mar 06, 2021
06:30 PM

An Evening on Jewell Key, Everglades National Park

Looking for something different to do, something maybe a trifle adventurous? Consider paddling out to Jewell Key in Everglades National Park and spending the night. Heck, get crazy and spend two!

You'll need a vessel to get there, either a canoe or a kayak. Either can be rented in Everglades City (see Resources at the end of this article). You'll also need a camping permit from the national park. And you'll need camping gear, and food and water. It takes a bit of planning to pull it off.

You find options other than Jewell Key, too. Tiger Key, Picnic Key, Rabbit Key, and Pavilion Key all have lovely campsites. I like Jewell Key because you can see both the sunrise and the sunset from the campsite. Some of the other keys have this feature too, but require a longer paddle.

On the way out look for wildlife. Expect to see exotic-looking birds, bottle-nosed dolphins, and several kinds of fish. You might even see a manatee!

This is not a summer excursion. Visit during the winter, any time between about Thanksgiving and Easter. There are fewer bugs then, and the temperatures are much more comfortable. And those long nights are great for both star-gazing and catching up on your sleep!

So consider a trip out to one of the park's Gulf islands. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet out there!

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All text and photos copyright john kumiski 2021. All rights reserved.

A paddler approaches Jewell Key.
A paddler approaches Jewell Key.
A flock of spoonbills, seen while paddling.
A flock of spoonbills, seen while paddling.
An osprey brings a fish to its nest.
An osprey brings a fish to its nest.
The sun sinks into the Gulf of Mexico.
The sun sinks into the Gulf of Mexico.
Watching the sunset from lounge chairs.
Watching the sunset from lounge chairs.
Watching the sunset while standing.
Watching the sunset while standing.
The Milky Way as seen from Jewell Key.
The Milky Way as seen from Jewell Key.
Enjoying the campfire.
Enjoying the campfire.
Dawn breaks.
Dawn breaks.
Rejoice! It’s a new day!
Rejoice! It’s a new day!
A great blue heron looks for breakfast.
A great blue heron looks for breakfast.
Beautiful dragonflies help keep the mosquitoes down.
Beautiful dragonflies help keep the mosquitoes down.

Resources

Boat Rentals in Everglades City

evergladesadventures.com

www.evergladesareatours.com/

evergladesadventuretours.net/everglades-canoe-rentals/

Everglades National Park links

www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm - ENP website

www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/gcdirections.htm - Contact for the Gulf Coast Visitor Center

www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/wildernesscamp.htm - the wilderness trip planner

camping trip equipment list- www.spottedtail.com/trip-equipment-list/

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