Thursday, February 19, 2015

Everglades Hiking, Biking, And Paddling Event

EVERGLADES CITY, Fla.: Join National Park Service staff Saturday, February 21, for a chance to test yourself and experience the wilder side of Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve while paddling, hiking and biking.

For the first time, Everglades and Big Cypress will be offering a ranger-led, “Try-athlon” at park service sites along the Tamiami Trail (U.S. Highway 41), which runs through these two national park service units.

The Tamiami Trail Triathlon is not your typical triathlon, nor is it a race. Normally, participants can do each leg at their leisure, in any order, and on any day they choose. They don’t even have to complete all the legs in one day. But for the first time on Saturday, February 21, rangers will be leading visitors on an all-in-one day event to experience it all!

The day will start at Everglades National Park’s Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City at 9 a.m. Participants will paddle canoes 3.5 miles across Chokoloskee Bay to Sandfly Island and back. This will be followed with a drive east on Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41 to the second leg of the triathlon, being held at the Oasis Visitor Center in Big Cypress National Preserve. Participants will hike a 3.5 mile loop through cypress, prairie, and pine habitats. Participants will then drive to the third and final leg, which takes place in Everglades National Park at Shark Valley. Bicyclists will pedal 15 miles on the paved tram route surrounded by the River Of Grass. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation to each location and renting or bringing their own gear.

Additional details can be acquired by calling the Gulf Coast Visitor Center at 239-695-3311.

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