Nature Walk Through Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

My fiancé and I have been wanting to make it to the Florida Everglades for quite a while now. The problem is it’s quite a drive from where we live and the Everglades are so huge we were a little intimidated by arranging our own day down there.

When I stumbled upon the Everglades Day Safari Tour, I knew it was perfect for us. The tour not only went all day long, but it included several different aspects; including two boat rides, a nature walk, and a scenic wildlife drive.

Our first stop of the day was a nature walk through Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

florida-everglades.jpgThe Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is a 2,300 foot wooden boardwalk through the largest bald cypress/royal palm swamp in the world. One of my favorite things about the trail is that the entire path has informational signs about the plants, animals, and trees that call the swamp home.

florida-everglades.jpgThe boardwalk is impeccably maintained. there was not a single loose or cracking board, and I was shocked to hear that all maintenance of the boardwalk is volunteer labor!

florida-everglades.jpgThere were several interesting plants and trees, but this tree with another tree wrapped around it was by far my favorite.

The beautiful small pond at the end of the boardwalk was also a highlight for me.

florida-everglades.jpgThere wasn’t a ton of animal sightings, but the few animals we did see were incredible, including this magnificent bald eagle.

florida-everglades.jpgAt the very end of the walk we had a great sighting of this momma alligator floating along in the front pond with dozens of her babies close by on the shore.

florida-everglades.jpgAfter mating, a female alligator builds a nest of vegetation measuring as big as 10 feet in diameter and 3 feet high. A female alligator lays anywhere from 35 to 50 eggs, and some lay up to 90(!!!) This sounds like an insane amount of offspring, but as I learned, baby gators are very small and only grow to about 1 foot in length in their first year. Because of this about 80% of young gators become lunch or dinner to large birds, otters, snakes, and even other larger gators.

florida-everglades.jpgAfter the female alligator lays the eggs, she covers the nest with vegetation for the 65-day incubation period.

florida-everglades.jpgInterestingly enough, the sex of the baby alligators is determined by the temperature of the nest: above 93°F all are male, below 86°F all are female, and temperatures in between will produce both sexes.

florida-everglades.jpgThis nature walk was a great way to kick off our tour. Next up, we headed for our boat cruise through the mangrove estuary known as the 10,000 islands. Stay tuned because you won’t want to miss what we got a chance to see!

Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is the perfect place for a stroll for the nature lover in your love. Alligators, bald eagles, and many other animals and tree species are just the beginning of what you'll spot during your visit!

Have you ever been on a nature walk?

note: I received a complimentary tour in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions and pictures are completely my own. 

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  • Sarah P

    Fiance *insert heart emoji here.* I’m so sad I can’t come visit you in Florida this winter anymore. We’ll blame it on Sandy and her move to Rhode Island messing everything up. But I DO want to see you one of these days!!!

    • You’re welcome here any time! and if you possibly end up moving *cough* Boston *cough* then maybe I can even come see you!!!

  • This day package does sound perfect. The alligator facts are fascinating, I had no idea about all that stuff! Thanks for linking up your sporty adventure with us, Carrie!

    • I learned so many things about alligators I had no clue about! Love this link-up! Thanks for hosting! 🙂

  • That’s crazy that the bridge is completely maintained by volunteers, and that you got to see a bald eagle and gators! You know you’re in the everglades when you see gators, right? I had no idea that the temperature is what determines the sex of the baby gators, how interesting!

    • After this tour I learned alligators are way cooler than I ever gave them credit for! During the next part of the trip (which i’ll be recapping soon!) we got to see some really cool bird species as well. I’m not a huge bird person, but these birds were so interesting!

  • Minus the reptiles (or maybe from afar is good), I love nature walking too. It’s relaxing.

    • haha! I’m not a huge reptile up close type of person either. luckily I have a huge zoom lens on my Canon DSL so I can look like I’m super close with out actually being close. It definitely comes in handy for times like these! 🙂