Best time to visit Everglades National Park

An Impending Summer Rain Will Once Again Fill the Sawgrass with Life-Sustaining Water

An Impending Summer Rain in the Everglades

Most Park visitors prefer to come here during the winter, dry season. It's cooler, there's usually more wildlife to see, plus--and for most folks, this is a BIG plus--there are fewer mosquitoes.

In summertime--from the Park visitor's standpoint--Everglades National Park goes into what I call a "semi-hibernation mode." There are fewer people, fewer official activities, and overall, things creep along slower than an overstuffed possum.

Nevertheless, summertime, in my opinion, is an okay time--even a good time--to come here. You see the same Park as you would in winter, but in a different phase. For example, different plants are in bloom, and the weather patterns are different than those of winter. The summer rains once again fill the sawgrass with life-sustaining water, as the annual cycle of life here begins anew.

Life doesn't stop just because it's summer, it's hot, and there are a few bazillion mosquitoes around. A native Floridian myself, who grew up in the northern Everglades region, I'm probably more willing than most folks to put up with, or at least deal with, the little "swamp angels," as they're sometimes called.

One day, at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor center, I asked a ranger his advice on how best to enjoy the park in the hot, rainy season. He told me the rangers and some others are issued Bug Shirts, made by some folks in Canada. I bought one, and it does allow me to enjoy the park more in summer. To stay cooler, the ladies who manufacture the Bug Shirt suggest wearing nothing under the garment. I tried it, and it works. The hood is hot and stuffy when it's up, so I often wear mine down. A little Deet repellant around my face, and I'm good to go.

Bug shirt

Mosquitoes are a nuisance, no doubt. But worse than that, they can also carry diseases. Chapter 9 of my book, Surviving the Wilds of Florida offers at least four pages of information about Florida mosquitoes, with additional information on sand flies and ticks.

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