21349
Everglades City
Kayaking the Everglades: Exploring the River of Grass
Discover the delicate beauty of Florida’s Everglades with experts and naturalists, discussing the region’s unique ecology, history and culture as you kayak this great American preserve.
Program No. 21349RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,399
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Everglades City, FL
D
Ivey House

Activity note: Check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: If you have chosen to take the transfer from SW Intl Airport in Ft. Myers please meet the Road Scholar Representative near Door 4 at Passenger Pick Up. The representative will be there to greet you at 1pm until the shuttle will leave promptly at 2pm. Please call 617-780-4318 if you need assistance on your day of travel. Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Our kayaking will be led by a local naturalist who will provide commentary on our surroundings. All transportation throughout the program will be via hotel van. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may be changed due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the Ivey House, gather for a buffet welcome dinner, plus coffee, tea, water or one house wine or beer.

Evening: Relax and get ready for the week of paddling ahead.

DAY
2
Paddle Seagrape Drive, Big Cypress Ranger Lecture
Everglades City, FL
B,L
Ivey House

Activity note: Kayaking up to 5 miles.

Breakfast: At the inn, we will have a selection of hot and cold items including fresh fruit, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Boarding a van, we will ride to our launching point for our first kayaking field trip as we prepare to paddle from Seagrape Drive to Halfway Creek. With our naturalist instructor, get acquainted with our kayaks and set out into the mangrove estuary of Big Cypress National Preserve. As we paddle among the mangroves, learn about some of the unique adaptations of flora and fauna of the Everglades.

Lunch: Reflect on your first paddle and enjoy a boxed lunch with bottled water.

Afternoon: At the early afternoon conclusion of the field trip, we will return to the Ivey House with some time to freshen up. After an opportunity to shower and change, we will meet a member of Big Cypress Ranger team for a presentation on the Everglades. Learn about this extraordinary yet fragile ecosystem that is home to a number of endangered species of orchid, rare ferns, threatened bromeliads, native birds, and a host of swamp creatures.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. Take the evening to become better acquainted with new Road Scholar friends and prepare for tomorrow's activities.

DAY
3
Saving the Swamp, Everglades Museum, PM Paddle
Everglades City, FL
B,L,D
Ivey House

Activity note: Kayaking up to 4 miles. Walking for up to 1 hour; about to 2 miles.

Breakfast: At the inn.

Morning: We start off our day with a walk from the hotel to the Museum of the Everglades. We will hear from a local author on the history of the Everglades and the conservation of the unique environment. Learn the background to the founding of the National Park and the struggle to maintain and protect the Everglades, and future developments in the Everglades’ restoration. Next, we will have an expert-led exploration with time to explore the Museum on our own. From the museum, a local expert will lead a walk through Everglades City among the historic buildings and streets.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a choice of salad or sandwich, plus coffee, tea, or water.

Afternoon: Return to the hotel for some time at leisure before we set out for our evening paddle in the East River. In the late afternoon with our naturalist, we will ride to the put-in for our next kayaking field trip. Paddle into the twilight and feel the mystery of the encroaching Everglades night. Glide through mangrove tunnels, into the saw-grass prairie, and watch twilight fade into the night. As darkness arrives, the eyes of the alligator (seen from a safe distance) seem to glow in your headlamp adding a mystique all its own. Snacks provided!

Dinner: Tonight's dinner will be after the sunset paddle at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Paddle 10,000 Islands to Sandfly Island
Everglades City, FL
B,L,D
Ivey House

Activity note: Kayaking up to 5 miles. Walking up to a mile.

Breakfast: At the inn.

Morning: We will kayak the 10,000 Islands as we make our way to Sandfly Island, a shell mound created by the Calusa Indians after they arrived in the area more then two millennia ago. While paddling, learn the history of the Everglades from a local naturalist. Making it to Sandfly Island, we will hike a trail that leads us to the remains of a human settlement from the early 20th century. Once a tomato farm, nature has reclaimed the island.

Lunch: We will take a break from paddling and have a boxed lunch, plus bottled water.

Afternoon: Return to the Ivey House for some time to freshen up, relax or explore before we meet for this evening's lecture and dinner. Meet the group leader and walk to City Seafood. Before dinner learn about the city’s wildlife and ecosystem. We will be joined by a member of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for a presentation on alien invaders in Florida. A number of invasive species – notably the Burmese python and lionfish – have moved into Southwest Florida, causing problems for the local ecosystems.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will have a plated meal featuring local cuisine, plus coffee, tea, or water.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Paddle the Turner River
Everglades City, FL
B,L,D
Ivey House

Activity note: Kayaking up to 6 miles throughout the day. Due to a limited number of kayaks allowed on the Turner River, participants may need to share a tandem kayak.

Breakfast: At the inn.

Morning: From our launching point, we will paddle up the Turner River and into the heart of the Everglades, entering a Bald Eagle/Pond Apple ecosystem. As we glide through the fresh water observing air plants and herons, you may also see alligators basking in their natural habitat. Heading towards the prairie, we start meeting salt water and entering the mangrove tunnels.

Lunch: Talk about your favorite memories of the last paddle with a boxed lunch and bottled water.

Afternoon: We will have an opportunity to freshen up and relax before dinner. Before you depart on foot, enjoy a local favorite appetizer at the inn: stone crab!

Dinner: Depart the Inn on foot to enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. We will have a plated meal with a salad, a choice of entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water or a choice of house wine or beer.

Evening: At leisure. Share your favorite experiences of the program with new Road Scholar friends and prepare for departure tomorrow.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Everglades City, FL
B

Activity note: Check-out by 11:00 a.m. The shuttle to the airport leaves at 11:00 a.m. Please book departures no earlier than 3:00 p.m.

Breakfast: At the inn.

Morning: The program concludes with breakfast. Shuttle to the airport departs at 11:00 a.m. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!