Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Winter is perfect time to check out Everglades Park

An impulsive trip to the Anhinga Trail last week provided Rich and Rachel Peine with plenty to see. The couple spotted herons, anhingas, cormorants and two eagles.

"It was a beautiful day," said Rich Peine of Key Largo. "So we decided to take a little trip here."

Park rangers are hoping more than birds will flock to the park. Last year, 822,118 people visited the 1.5-million acre park -- the lowest attendance in 13 years.

But documentary filmmaker Ken Burns may help out. He featured the sprawling South Florida park as part of his six-part, 12-hour PBS series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, that aired in September.

Those who want to camp can drive their RVs or pitch their tents at the Long Pine Key campground, six miles from the Coe Visitor Center or at the Flamingo campground near the Flamingo Visitor Center on the shores of Florida Bay.

Nightly fees are $16 per site at either campground. Reservations are not accepted except for group camping at Long Pine. But at Flamingo, reservations are accepted and strongly recommended.
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