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National Parks - Colorado
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National Parks in Florida


Big Cypress National Preserve

 thumbnail - Alligators at the Oasis Visitor Center at Big Cypress

Viewing alligators from the boardwalk at the Big Cypress National Preserve visitor center. People are amazed to see the 'gators so close by, and shoot lots of pictures. This ditch, the Tamiami Canal, is the borrow area used in building the Tamiami Trail in the 1920's.

Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

March 15, 2015
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Big Cypress National Preserve

 thumbnail - In the swampy forest behind the Big Cypress Gallery

Behind the Big Cypress Gallery there is a short loop trail through a swampy forest.

Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

March 15, 2015
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Big Cypress National Preserve

Biscayne Bay National Park

 thumbnail - Tours of Biscayne Bay depart from here

Park service tours of Biscayne Bay depart from the small harbor at the visitor center. The only other way to see the park is if you have, or rent, your own boat.

Biscayne National Park, Florida

March 18, 2015
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Biscayne National Park

 thumbnail - Biscayne National Park consists almost entirely of water

Biscayne National Park consists of just this small area of mainland where the visitor center is located. The rest is almost entirely water.

Biscayne National Park, Florida

March 18, 2015
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Biscayne National Park

Cape Canaveral National Seashore

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Castillo de San Marco National Monument

 thumbnail - Castillo San Marcos on the Matanzas River

An empty moat behind the seawall on the Matanzas River at Castillo de San Marcos.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St Augustine, Florida

March 25, 2015
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Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

 thumbnail - Cannons at Castillo de San Marcos

There are a variety of cannons at Castillo de San Marcos. Green cannons are made of bronze, black ones are iron.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St Augustine, Florida

March 25, 2015
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Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

 thumbnail - Period costume interpreters at Castillo de San Marcos

Interpreters in period costume demonstrate aspects of 17th century life in the castle.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St Augustine, Florida

March 25, 2015
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Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

De Soto National Memorial

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Dry Tortugas National Park

 thumbnail - Last view of Fort Jefferson from the ferry

Leaving Fort Jefferson behind as the Yankee Freedom ferry returns to Key West. The lighthouse on Loggerhead Key can be seen astern (zoom in).

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

March 21, 2015
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Yankee Freedom

 thumbnail - Entry to Fort Jefferson

A causeway across the moat is the only way into Fort Jefferson, and there is currently a saltwater crocodile living in the moat.

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas National Park , Florida

March 21, 2015
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Dry Tortugas National Park

 thumbnail - Garden Key Lighthouse at Fort Jefferson

The iron Garden Key Lighthouse building stands atop the massive fortification. The top of the fort affords a fine view of the moat, adjacent Bush Key and Long Key, and Fort Jefferson itself.

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas National Park , Florida

March 21, 2015
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Fort Jefferson - on top of the fort

 thumbnail - Foundations of living quarters

Officers quarters and enlisted mens' barracks stood in the central courtyard, but most have long since burned down.

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas National Park , Florida

March 21, 2015
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Fort Jefferson - inside the fort

 thumbnail - North Swim Beach from the moat walkway

The structure seen here at the end of North Swim Beach is part of the North Coaling Dock where naval vessels could be refueled.

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

March 21, 2015
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Everglades National Park

 thumbnail - Alligator at the Everglades visitor center

This borrow pond was the source of fill to make a dry platform for the Everglades visitor center. It has became vegetated and populated with native wildlife, including a large alligator.

Everglades National Park, Florida

March 15, 2015
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Everglades Visitor Center

 thumbnail - Everglades National Park visitor center

Inside the Ernest F. Coe Everglades National Park visitor center near Homestead. The exhibits provide an excellent introduction to the ecology and environmental problems of the Everglades.

Everglades National Park, Florida

March 15, 2015
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Everglades Visitor Center

Everglades National Park - Nature Trails

 thumbnail - Alligator under the boardwalk

As I walked along the boardwalk on the Anhinga Trail, a large alligator swam gracefully underneath. Nobody else seemed to notice.

Royal Palm, Everglades National Park, Florida

March 16, 2015
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Anhinga Nature Trail at Royal Palm
Gumbo Limbo Nature Trail at Royal Palm

 thumbnail - Longleaf pine forest on Long Pine Key in the Everglades

Longleaf pine was the premier timber tree of the southeast, but was logged almost out of existence. The forest on Long Pine Key within the national park is a remaining example.

Royal Palm, Everglades National Park, Florida

March 16, 2015
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Long Pine Key

 thumbnail - Pa-hay-okee lookout tower

The Pa-hay-okee lookout affords a view over miles of sawgrass flats - the famous "River of Grass". This is the quintessential Everglades landscape, shallow water moving slowly south to the Gulf through grasslands dotted with forested islands.

Everglades National Park, Florida

March 16, 2015
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Pa-hay-okee Overlook

 thumbnail - The largest mahogany tree in the country is here at Mahogany Hammock

A few large trees, live oaks and mahogany, are scattered through the jungly growth of the hardwood hammocks. The tree with orange bark is a gumbo limbo.

Everglades National Park, Florida

March 16, 2015
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Mahogany Hammock Nature Trail

 thumbnail - Wood storks nesting in mangroves at Paurotis Pond

Dozens of the odd-looking wood storks were building nests at Paurotis Pond - one can be seen here flying past the parking area carrying a stick.

Everglades National Park, Florida

March 17, 2015
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Paurotis Pond and Hells Bay

 thumbnail - Red mangrove

Red mangrove has unique arching prop roots. It is the species that requires the deepest water and is usually found on the outer edges of mangrove forests.

Everglades National Park, Florida

March 16, 2015
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West Lake Nature Trail

Everglades National Park - Flamingo

 thumbnail - Boat tours start from Flamingo

National park boat tours start from Flamingo and proceed up the Buttonwood Canal into the mangrove swamps and numerous lakes to the north, or south into the open waters of Florida Bay.

Everglades National Park, Florida

March 16, 2015
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Flamingo

 thumbnail - Coastal strand at Flamingo

Hurricane-driven storm surges and the sheets of mud they brought ashore created the open coastal strand west of Flamingo.

Everglades National Park, Florida

March 17, 2015
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End of the Flamingo Road

Fort Caroline National Memorial

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Fort Matanzas National Monument

 thumbnail - Fort Matanzas is on an island

Fort Matanzas is on an island commanding the Matanzas River south of St Augustine. The only way to reach the fort is by park service ferry.

Fort Matanzas National Monument, Florida

March 25, 2015
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Fort Matanzas National Monument

Gulf Islands National Seashore

 thumbnail - Opal Beach in Gulf Islands National Seashore

The Gulf Islands National Seashore provides a blessed break in the otherwise continuous beachfront development along this stretch of coast.

Gulf Islands National Seashore , east of Pensacola, Florida

March 8, 2015
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Pensacola Beaches

 thumbnail - Opal Beach on the sheltered Santa Rosa Sound

Opal Beach has two sides, one facing the Gulf of Mexico with surf, and another facing inland on to the sheltered waters of Santa Rosa Sound.

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida

March 8, 2015
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Pensacola Beaches

Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

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Previous Thematic Listing:
National Parks - Colorado
Next Thematic Listing:
National Parks - Georgia