Everglades Holiday Park

Located in West Broward, this area offers access to the Water Conservation area for fishing and wildlife viewing. This is the home of the reality series "the Gator Boys." The canals are straight. You can paddle into the airboat areas (the not-so-straight dark areas on the aerial map), but you need to have a 12-foot tall visibility flag and they don't like kayaks in the airboat trails after 9AM when the airboat concession opens. This is for safety, since they do not expect kayaks and might run over you by accident.  The entrance to the airboat areas are overgrown with cow lillies (Spatterdocks), which keeps the motorboats out. The airboats are pretty noisy , with a trip leaving every 30 minutes or so and plenty of private airboats on nice weekend days. This is a great spot for finding purple gallinules.

Directions: Take I-95, I-75 or the Turnpike to Griffin Road, head west, cross US-27, and when you can't go any further you're there.

Entrance fee/parking: Free. The parking lot gets crowded after 8:30 AM or so.

Facilities: Gift shop, tackle shop and restrooms. Skiff rentals are available. They cater to fishermen and tourists coming for the airboat rides.

Put-in/Take-out: There are several boat ramps, but there is a small floating dock for fishing that's probably the easiest spot to put in. You can park right next to the put-in area.

Route: A dam blocks the canal going east, but you can take any of the 3 canals. The middle one has a small dike built up on the sides, so there's more wildlife to see. The other 2 are mainly cattails and sawgrass. There is a north-south canal connecting the 3 coming from the launch, so you can make a triangular route.

Wildlife: Alligators, purple gallinules, herons, egrets, turtles. Peacocks stroll around the gift shop.

Maps from Mapquest.com

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