Best Hike/Broward County Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2000 - Florida Scenic Trail, Section Two
We ain't never seen the varmints with our own eyes, but there's been tell of panther and black bear sightings along this section of the Florida Trail. There is no guarantee, but a shot at seeing these once-thriving Everglades species in their natural habitat adds extra excitement to hiking this 10-mile stretch of trail. Part of the state-long footpath, overall Section Two is a 60-mile chunk that snakes through the Everglades from I75 north to Lake Okeechobee, and it is maintained lovingly by the Broward County chapter of the Florida Trail Association. The portion with which we're concerned begins (or ends) at an I-75 rest stop and ends (or begins) a couple miles shy of Billie Swamp Safari on the Seminole Indian Reservation. (Passage into the Seminole portion of the trail requires advance authorization from the trail association or the Seminole Council, so be sure to obtain clearance.) In order to get from the rest stop parking lot to the trailhead, it's necessary to hike through a tunnel under the freeway. Once trailbound the scenery varies from thick pine woodland to open, grassy marshland, and along the way birds, deer, and small mammals are likely sights. The only hitch is that if you want to go only one way, you need to plan ahead for transportation at the other end.