Guided Swamp Walk Tours

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By: Jennifer Agress

Few outdoor experiences immerse you in Mother Nature quite like a swamp walk (or “slough slog,” as it’s often called). Swamp walks are guided walking tours of the Everglades’ wetlands where you’ll be thigh-high (sometimes deeper) in the swamp as you explore the “River of Grass” by wading right through the water. 

During a tour, you’ll see a vast variety of plant life – from cypress trees, bromeliads and rare ghost orchids to floating hearts, arrowhead plants, flag iris, porter weed, bladderwort, duck potato and pond apples. In terms of animals, you might see whirligig beetles skimming the top of the water, colorful South Florida fish, birds and so much more. Generally speaking, visitors don’t need to worry about encountering an alligator or water snake.

Looking for a new way to explore the deepest corners of the Everglades? Go on a swamp walk in Everglades National Park or Big Cypress National Preserve and see it from the inside, out.

Contact tours ahead of time for availability and reservations. Swamp walks may paused at times due to COVID-19 precautions. 

Everglades National Park

The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center hosts ranger-led Slough Slog/Wet Walk Tours. This activity is strenuous and all participants must be at least 12 years old. Space is limited and reservations can be made on a first-come, first-served basis by calling or visiting the visitor center. All reservations can be made up to one week in advance. 

Big Cypress National Preserve

Clyde Butcher's Big Cypress Gallery 

Clyde Butcher is one of America’s leading landscape photographers and he uses his art to promote Everglades conservation. He and his wife, Niki, live and work in Big Cypress National Preserve, where their staff operates guided swamp walks out of the art and photography gallery. Tours depart daily and are about two hours long. Reservations are available.

Big Cypress Institute 

Big Cypress Institute hosts Wilderness Walks that take visitors through both the wet and dry areas of the Everglades. These walks are good for all ages and are led by National Park Service rangers, trained volunteers or official Institute guides. Walks depart daily from Big Cypress Institute and are about two hours long. Reservations are available

Everglades Nature Tours

The Everglades Walking and Hiking Tour is led by a local naturalist who has lived in the Everglades for more than 35 years. Tours depart daily are between one-and-a-half to two hours long. Participants must be at least six years old. Reservations are available

What You Need

You’ll get dirty on a swamp walk tour! Participants should wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants that dry quickly, lace-up sneakers that can get wet or muddy, a hat and sunglasses. A dry bag is recommended for all camera equipment and cellphones. Mosquito repellent and sunscreen are also recommended. You'll want to have a towel in your car and a change of clothes, too.

Visitor Information

While adventurous, swamp walks are not generally considered dangerous, nor do they require visitors to swim. 

Ranger-led activities at Everglades National Park are currently paused due to COVID-19 precautions. Contact the park ahead of your visit to confirm normal operating hours and availability of park activities.

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