Top Ten National Parks for Wildlife Viewing

Everglades National Park, Florida
By Nicole Daro

Best for: Alligators, crocodiles, manatees, turtles.

The last remaining everglades in the world, this park in southern Florida is a truly unique environment. The animals you'll see here are as bizarre and rare as their habitat. The park is almost completely submerged beneath fresh and brackish water; here even landlubbers like deer and bobcats have adapted to the semi-aquatic environment and can be seen wading in the water foraging for dinner.

If you want to catch a glimpse of this amazing habitat, you'll have to adapt, too: Hop in a canoe and paddle into the heart of the Everglades. The 99-mile Wilderness Waterway takes you through mangrove thickets, shallow flats, and windswept bays—where you're likely to encounter lots of wildlife, from manatees and dolphins to gators and crocs. Everglades National Park is one of the few places in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist. If you're not up for that journey, there are many shorter paddling routes to try.

If you'd rather bike than boat, try the Shark Valley Tram Road, a 15-mile paved road where you're likely to see alligators, deer, herons, and numerous turtles. For even more critters per mile try popular half-mile-long Anhinga Trail. Here, where saltwater meets fresh, you'll find a staggering variety of fauna (much of it in the form of bugs, so slather on some repellent.)


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