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A Biking Journey through the Everglades and Big Cypress

Program Number: 20390RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/7/2013 - 4/12/2013; 1/11/2015 - 1/16/2015; 2/22/2015 - 2/27/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015; 3/22/2015 - 3/27/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Everglades National Park, Florida
Price starting at: $1,349.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling; Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Bike along the remote trails of Florida’s Everglades to witness the wildlife and vistas that make up these ecosystems. Pedal through the outpost cities of Chokoloskee and Goodland, and explore routes such as Loop Road, Janes Scenic Drive and Old Ingraham Highway. Take in a lecture about the restoration and preservation of the Everglades and learn about fruits and spices that grow in South Florida.




Highlights

• Explore the Anhinga trail which winds through a sawgrass marsh, where you may see alligators, turtles, anhingas, herons, egrets, and many other birds.
• Take part in a swamp walk through Big Cypress National Preserve.
• Visit the architectural wonder, Coral Castle.



Activity Particulars

Bicycling 15-25 miles, 4-6 hours a day at speed of 10-15 mph, take part in a wet hike.



Bikes and helmets provided.




Date Specific Information

4-7-2013

This date is less active and the rides are at a more leisurely pace. Bicycling 12–15 miles, 4–6 hours a day at speed of 7–8 mph.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



1-11-2015, 2-22-2015, 3-8-2015, 3-22-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Miami Int'l Airport, Coach to Everglades City, 3 nights; coach to Florida City, 2 nights; departure and coach to Miami Int'l Airport.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Everglades National Park

The largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. boasts rare and endangered species, such as the American crocodile, Florida panther and West Indian manatee. It has been designated an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site and a Wetland of International Importance, in recognition of its significance to all the people of the world.



Everglades City

Located on Florida’s southwest coast, Everglades City is the gateway to the Ten Thousand Island National Wildlife Refuge and Everglades National Park. Once a sleepy farming community growing sugarcane and bananas, Everglades City has been welcoming those who wish to explore the incredible wetland and coastal environments surrounding it for decades.



Florida

Florida City is situated at the eastern end of the only road that traverses Everglades National Park and is the last mainland community north of the Florida Keys. A popular stop for travelers en route to the Everglades or Key West, the city has a small but charming historic district.



Accommodations
Everglades City: Charming Inn with swimming pool. Florida City: Comfortable, modern hotel with outdoor swimming pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Captain's Lodge and Villas
  Everglades City, FL 3 nights
   Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"
  Florida City, FL 2 nights
 Captain's Lodge and Villas
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 allowed: No
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"
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 allowed: No
  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


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 pm You will be staying at Captain's Lodge and Villas that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 am You will be staying at Best Western "Gateway to the Keys" the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Bike Information Form
  Parking availability:
Free parking is available for participants at the Captains Lodge and Best Western
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Everglades City, FL
  From End of Program
  Location:  Florida City, FL
Travel Details
 

Best Western Florida City

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar
phone: 617-521-5373

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

   

Shuttle will leave Best Western Florida City at 10 am arriving at Miami International Airport at 10:45 am. Please contact Road Scholar Boston at (617) 521- 5373 to make reservations

 

Miami International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar
phone: 617-521-5373

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour and 45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

80 miles

   

*Complimentary shuttle available for all participants arriving at Miami International Airport before 2:00 pm only. Please contact Road Scholar Boston at 617-521-5373 at least one week prior to program start date to make reservation for the free shuttle service

 
Driving Directions
  Miami International Airport to Captains Lodge West on Fl-836/Dolphin Expressway. Follow signs for Florida Turnpike S. Follow US-41/Tamiami Trail/8th St. Turn left onto County Rd 29. Turn right onto Begonia St. At traffic circle take the 1st exit onto W Broadway. Distance approx. 80 miles, travel time approx. 1 hour and 45 minutes depending on traffic
  Southwest Florida International Airport (Ft Myers) to Captains Lodge Head West on Daniels Pkwy. Take I-75 S toward Naples. Take exit 80 onto Fl-29 S. Continue onto County Rd 29. Turn right onto Begonia St. At traffic circle take the 1st exit onto W Broadway. Distance approx 80 miles, travel time approx. 1hour and 35 minutes depending on traffic
Equipment Requirements: Bikes, Helmets and water will be provided
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Hospitality and Orientation
(Sunday, April 7)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel Check in from 3pm to 5:30pm at Hotel Lobby.
 Dinner: Dinner and Orientation at the Seafood Depot. Next door to the hotel.
 Evening: Bike Fitting
   
Accommodations: Captain's Lodge and Villas
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Marco Island and Big Cypress National Preserve Swamp Walk
(Monday, April 8)

Note: Water shoes, water resistant long pants or fast drying pants and a change of clothes will be needed for the Swamp Walk.



   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Seafood Depot
 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: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Depart for Big Cypress National Preserve Welcome Center. Take part in a ranger-led Swamp Walk win the walk. After the walk listen to a lecture from one of the Rangers.
 Dinner: At Local Restaurant
   
Accommodations: Captain's Lodge and Villas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Janes Scenic Drive and Everglades City
(Tuesday, April 9)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Seafood Depot
 Morning: Board a bus to Jane's Scenic Drive. Drive.We will ride this on 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: Lunch at the Island Cafe
 Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture on the History of Everglades City and aera. After ride through the towns of the Everglades (Everglades City, Chokoloskee). 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.
 Dinner: At Restaurant
   
Accommodations: Captain's Lodge and Villas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Miccosukeee & the “Urban Threshold”
(Wednesday, April 10)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Seafood Depot
 Morning: Biking Shark Valley Loop. 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!” Get a close-up view of wild gators, turtles, Roseate Spoonbills and abounding varieties of wading birds and aquatic species.This tour will reward us midway with a wildlife viewing tower that extends the vistas into a seemingly infinite horizon.
 Lunch: Lunch at Miccosukee Restaurant
 Afternoon: Following lunch enjoy 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. Later in the afternoon take a bus tour 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. Enter the southern entrance of Everglades National Park to explore the wildlife rich Anhinga Trail with your Naturalist Group Leader providing interpretation.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Captain's Restaurant
   
Accommodations: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Biking the Southern Everglades
(Thursday, April 11)
   
 Breakfast: At the Hotel
 Morning: 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 offers 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: Picnic Lunch at Long Pine Key
 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: Dinner at Captain’s Restaurant
   
Accommodations: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Program Ends
(Friday, April 12)
   
 Breakfast: At the Hotel
 Morning: End of Program
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Everglades Handbook – Understanding the Ecosystem


Author: Thomas E. Lodge


Gladesmen


Author: Glen Simmons and Laura Ogden


The Swamp – The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise


Author: Michael Grunwald


The Everglades – River of Grass


Author: Marjory Stoneman Douglass




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