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BEGINS IN: EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA

A Biking Journey through the Everglades and Big Cypress

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Bicycling

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Road Scholar
Program #20390RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Feb 3 — Feb 8, 2013

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Type: Lodge

Description: We are a small family run lodge located in the heart of the Everglades National Park. The lodge was originally built in the early 70's to accommodate the avid fisherman and the new wave of ECO Tours. We can offer a small reception area, chickee hut with bbq pit, and plenty of free parking.

Contact info:
102 East Broadway
Everglade city, FL 34139 USA
phone: 239-695-4211
web: www.captainstablehotel.com/

Room amenities: All accommodations have private baths and air conditioning.

Facility amenities: Waterfront pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, February 03 - Hospitality and Orientation
Afternoon: Orientation and Hospitality. 3pm to 5pm at Hotel Lobby.

Dinner: At the hotel

Lodging: Captain's Lodge and Villas

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: We are a small family run lodge located in the heart of the Everglades National Park. The lodge was originally built in the early 70's to accommodate the avid fisherman and the new wave of ECO Tours. We can offer a small reception area, chickee hut with bbq pit, and plenty of free parking.

Contact info:
102 East Broadway
Everglade city, FL 34139 USA
phone: 239-695-4211
web: www.captainstablehotel.com/

Room amenities: All accommodations have private baths and air conditioning.

Facility amenities: Waterfront pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, February 04 - Everglades Towns
Breakfast: At the Hotel

Morning: Lecture (History of the Everglades) (15 miles) Later Morning: Start this morning’s ride biking through Marco Island, the remote luxury enclave of the 10,000 Islands. Continue east the outpost fishing village of Goodland. This remote village is known for its fishing, airboat excursions and its seafood. The latter will be served for lunch. After lunch as you wind through County Rd. 92 you will notice the marsh land and see the pristine waters that make up the 10,000 Islands.

Lunch: at Goodland Restaurant

Afternoon: A ride through the towns of the Everglades (Everglades City, Chokoloskee) (12 Miles) Take a settlement at the end of the world, add a legendary gentlemen’s fishing and hunting lodge, bring in a daring financier with the determination to build a road across the Everglades, lay out an imposing city with a grid of wide boulevards and a town circle, then let it all stew for one hundred years of hurricanes, financial ruin, smugglers, intrigue and isolation and you get…Everglades City. Come with us on a leisurely-paced pedal through this enigmatic and colorful, century-old center of Everglades life. Along the way, we will spin fantastic but true tales of village pioneers and scoundrels. We will observe quaint fishing cottages with tin roofs, and yards filled with exotic flowering trees and towering palms. Follow the course of the Barron River with its active fleet of fishing workboats, wharf side piles of crab traps and buoys and tin-sided fishing shacks. Plan to drop in on a little museum here and visit a charming shop there and if time and circumstances allow, have an incredible lunch with new friends right at river’s edge. Allow us to introduce you to one of Florida’s best kept secrets and a town we truly love; Come with us to Everglades City.

Dinner: At Local Restaurant

Lodging: Captain's Lodge and Villas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: We are a small family run lodge located in the heart of the Everglades National Park. The lodge was originally built in the early 70's to accommodate the avid fisherman and the new wave of ECO Tours. We can offer a small reception area, chickee hut with bbq pit, and plenty of free parking.

Contact info:
102 East Broadway
Everglade city, FL 34139 USA
phone: 239-695-4211
web: www.captainstablehotel.com/

Room amenities: All accommodations have private baths and air conditioning.

Facility amenities: Waterfront pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, February 05 - Fakahatchee & Big Cypress
Note: Water shoes, water resistant long pants and a change of clothes will be needed for the Swamp Walk.

Breakfast: At Restaurant

Morning: Biking Fakahatchee Jane's Scenic Drive (25 miles) We will ride out this morning to Jane’s Scenic Drive, an unpaved road into the heart of the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. With its dense, enveloping tropical foliage, the Fakahatchee more closely resembles Jurassic Park than a South Florida ecosystem. This beautiful, remote road offers an excellent opportunity for viewing Florida’s flora and fauna in its wildest display.

Lunch: Boxed Lunch

Afternoon: Lecture (Big Cypress and Everglades Nature). Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery & Swamp Walk. Our next stop gives you a unique opportunity to become familiar with a world-famous photographer and to view his stunning work. No one really expects to find an art gallery in the Everglades, but it’s there in the form of Clyde and Nikki Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery. You may notice a few dozen gators in Clyde’s front yard. Don’t worry, as with any good neighbor, if you mind your own business, they will mind theirs.

Dinner: At Restaurant

Lodging: Captain's Lodge and Villas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Stay at this newly renovated, 100% non-smoking Florida City, Florida hotel located adjacent to Homestead and close to attractions such as the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys and Biscayne National Park. This Southern Florida area hotel features well-appointed guest rooms and suites, each equipped with cable satellite television and free high-speed Internet access. Hotel guests will enjoy an array of amenities , an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub

Contact info:
411 S Krome Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034-4913 USA
phone: 305-246-5100
web: bestwesternflorida.com/hotels/best-western-gateway-to-the-keys

Room amenities: Cable satellite television....Free local calls under 30 minutes....Microwave...Refrigerator....High-speed Internet access hard wired in every room.....Air-conditioning

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: Discount based on availability
Call Best Western directly (305) 246-5100 Mon through Fri 9-5 EST. Ask for Sonia Shelton and mention “Road Scholar” to make the reservations. Based on Availability.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Four: Wednesday, February 06 - Miccosukeee & the “Urban Threshold”
Note: Mileage in ( ) represents total trail length. The actual cycling mileage and pace will vary by program date.

Breakfast: At the Hotel

Morning: Biking Shark Valley Loop (15 Miles) They called it Shark Valley because in the days of old when the flow of the Everglades was stronger and the water from Florida Bay would reverse, sharks would be found well up into this slough - “literally sharks in the middle of the Everglades!” Behold the storied River of Grass on this 15 mile biking expedition in Everglades National Park. Get a close-up view of wild gators, turtles, Roseate Spoonbills and abounding varieties of wading birds and aquatic species. This tour is breathtaking in scope and engaging in detail. It will reward us midway with a wildlife viewing tower that extends the vistas into a seemingly infinite horizon. Followed by a thrilling airboat ride through the Everglades to with Miccosukee Heritage Indians. Skip across the shallow waters and sawgrass prairie to a distant Miccosukee island as your Native American guide prepares you for a day of natural wonders and cultural discovery! Watch in wonder as Great Blue Herons, Egrets, Woodstorks and Ibis take to flight as we travel into the true heart of the Florida Everglades. It is here among the sawgrass prairie that remote cypress islands filled with Seminole and Miccosukee history still exist and it is here that our adventure begins . . . Only accessible by airboat, we will travel miles into the Everglades to experience a historic Miccosukee island camp.

Lunch: Boxed lunch on Miccosukee Island.

Afternoon: A bus trip takes you through the “Urban Threshold” were civilization meets wilderness In the southernmost reaches of the Florida peninsula, just before the coral rock islands of the Florida Keys make their break for open multi-hued seas, lies a unique locale. At once tropical and rural, it is the growing region of Homestead, Redland and Florida City. The people who settled this region were pioneers in the subtropics. Ride among farmland and see the rural transformation first hand. Enter the southern entrance of Everglades National Park to explore the wildlife rich Anhinga Trail with your Naturalist Group Leader providing interpretation.

Dinner: at Local Restaurant

Lodging: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Stay at this newly renovated, 100% non-smoking Florida City, Florida hotel located adjacent to Homestead and close to attractions such as the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys and Biscayne National Park. This Southern Florida area hotel features well-appointed guest rooms and suites, each equipped with cable satellite television and free high-speed Internet access. Hotel guests will enjoy an array of amenities , an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub

Contact info:
411 S Krome Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034-4913 USA
phone: 305-246-5100
web: bestwesternflorida.com/hotels/best-western-gateway-to-the-keys

Room amenities: Cable satellite television....Free local calls under 30 minutes....Microwave...Refrigerator....High-speed Internet access hard wired in every room.....Air-conditioning

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: Discount based on availability
Call Best Western directly (305) 246-5100 Mon through Fri 9-5 EST. Ask for Sonia Shelton and mention “Road Scholar” to make the reservations. Based on Availability.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Five: Thursday, February 07 - Biking the Southern Everglades
Note: Mileage in ( ) represents total trail length. The actual cycling mileage and pace will vary by program date.

Breakfast: At the Hotel

Morning: Biking Old Ingraham Road (20 miles) Our first stop will be the Ernest F. Coe Visitor’s Center at the Main Entrance of Everglades National Park. The center has a giant diorama with life-size replicated, denizens of the Everglades on the prowl. A comfortable theater offers an informative film on the Everglades. Other exhibits located around the facility are thoroughly researched and very though-provoking. Opened in 1922 as the first motorway to the recreational town of Flamingo, the Old Ingraham Highway saw many inteprid motorists and tourists make their way this city. Once the area was dedicated as a National Park in 1947 and more visitors came there was a new and wider road opened in the 60’s. Now the Old Highway offer s remote and advantageous intrusion into the wilderness of the Everglades. We will ride down this road and explore the Long Pine Key Area of the park.

Lunch: Boxed

Afternoon: Visit to Missile Site (Lecture - History and the role of South Florida during the Cold War.) Decades ago, our next field trip would have been classified top secret but the Cold War is over. Few people realize that Everglades National Park houses one of the best preserved relics of the Cold War in Florida. An historic Nike Hercules Missile Base, dubbed HM-69, remains virtually the same as it was when official use of the site was terminated in 1979. This missile base was built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, completed in 1964 at the height of the Cold War, immediately following the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962. At a time when national security against Soviet attack was America's main priority, the United States Army chose this strategic site within Everglades National Park, located 160 miles from the Cuban coast, to build an anti-aircraft missile site. This afternoon you will visit and learn about this site with interpretation from a local historian.

Dinner: at Local Restaurant

Lodging: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, February 08 - Program Ends
Breakfast: At the Hotel

Morning: End of Program

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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