Is it Safe to Swim in the Florida Everglades' Waterways?
Men, women, and children of all ages flock to South Florida each year to enjoy the year-round sunshine and endless outdoor activities - a perfect escape from colder climates. While kayaking, fishing, boating, and lounging by the water are all fun activities, many find themselves longing to take a dip into south Florida’s various bodies of water to cool off from the beaming sunshine.
However, the residents of Florida may be keen to something that visitors may not know, and it’s something crucial. Many people assume that all of South Florida’s waters are as safe and swimmer-friendly as the clear water on Florida’s white sand beaches, but this is not the case.
Lakes, canals, rivers & streams that flow from North Florida all the way down to the Florida Keys are rich with vegetation and wildlife – “wild” being the keyword here. Those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to safely explore the Everglades might imagine the 1.5-million-acre national park’s public waterways to be clear, with thick trees overhead for climbing or viewing purposes. Much of the waterways open to the public contain vast areas of brackish water with thick stalks of sawgrass growing randomly throughout –which make for perfect hiding spots for the hundreds of thousands of American Alligators throughout.
Alligators are aggressive, and they dominate the winding waterways of the Everglades. They feed off other animals in the ‘glades and can detect even the slightest movement in the water. So, if you’re wondering if it’s safe to go swimming in the Everglades – the answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. Additionally, the Everglades is the only place on earth in which alligators and crocodiles coexist, so you may spot some of those, as well as various types of snakes – all of which you want to avoid encountering at all costs.
Still think it’s safe to go swimming in the Everglades?
Check out these articles from our wildlife handlers and Everglades explorers at Everglades Holiday Park:
How can you safely explore the Everglades?
There are safer methods to viewing the River of Grass than swimming – such as fishing, boating, kayaking, canoe, paddle boarding, etc., but the best way to see the Everglades safely is on an airboat, with an experienced captain. Airboats are designed specifically to easily navigate the various terrains of the Everglades which can quickly change from deep to extremely shallow, and everything in between. An airboat allows for safe seating, well above the waters, and perfect views of the Everglades rivers and the wildlife within them.
Everglades Holiday Park is equipped with a fleet of state-of-the-art, well maintained airboats, led by expert captains who have been navigating the Everglades for decades. Our 60-minute guided tours are the safest and most exciting way to view the Everglades and its unique wildlife, from the comfort of a shaded, safe seat. Most importantly – you don’t have to worry about being harmed or even threatened by wildlife. So, whether you’re a Florida resident or just visiting the sunshine state, make sure you know the appropriate way to enjoy the different bodies of water.