Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Lively Everglades Loop Road – The Alligator Super Highway

Most people who travel Florida have heard of, or traveled, Alligator Alley and the Tamiami Trail. Both run across south Florida through the Everglades. Each is known for alligator sightings, but the Tamiami Trail is more densely populated with this reptile we call an alligator

Since the Tamiami Trail is a two-lane road much of the way from Naples to south Miami. travel is much slower. A freeway, I-75, completed in 1992, was designated Alligator Alley. 

If either of these highways is considered the pathway or alley for alligators, we have news – there is a road that must be the “super-highway” of alligators!

How Long is Everglades Loop Road

Can you imagine a 25-mile stretch of road where you can view scores of alligators in their natural habitat without even getting out of your car? That rarely traveled road is Everglades Loop Road, Big Cypress Preserve.

Everglades Loop Road is a real Florida adventure and not for the meek visitor! This is the real Everglades. See the video we included for a realistic view of your adventure.

Take Care When Considering Traveling Loop Road Everglades

Loop Road in the Everglades starts when traveling east on Tamiami Trail (Rt. 41). At about mile marker 59, also known as Monroe Station (a mere cross road), the location is not much more than an intersection. 

Loop Road runs a little southeast and then back northeast until it intersects Rt. 41 (Tamiami Trail) again, some 25 miles later. You wander through some of the densest swamps in the Everglades. See the Map of Loop Road.

I am not going to sugarcoat this! If you don’t like nature, don’t take this road. If you don’t have plenty of gas, don’t take this road (there are no gas stations). If you are in a hurry, don’t take this road. 

If you don’t want to run about 20 miles an hour on a pothole-laced gravel road, don’t take this road. If your vehicle has any weaknesses, don’t take this road! If you need a bathroom, once again, you better like nature really well!

This is a Florida adventure through the Everglades on Loop Road!

More Florida Alligators on Loop Road Everglades

Everglades Loop Road is not only unique but may have more wildlife in its natural habitat than you will ever see anywhere. In the first five miles of the road, we saw white egrets, blue herons, hawks, snowy egrets, ospreys, anhinga, turkey vultures, night herons, wood storks, and several species we could not identify.

There are rare wildlife species throughout the Everglades.

While admittedly the first couple of miles of Loop Road makes you think you made a mistake by taking this gravel road, it quickly changes into a dense tree-lined swamp that suddenly is alive with alligators. 

Your eyes get trained to the gators’ dark log-like first appearance when viewed in the swamp.

In our travels, we generally get to Loop Road in the Everglades about mid-morning. By the time the sun gets high in the sky, alligators begin to creep out of the swamp and onto and along the road. 

In fact, close-up picture taking turns into a car window process, rather than tempting fate with eight-foot gators a few feet away.

Simply stated, if you want stunning photos of everything an untouched wooded swamp can provide, this is it. Unbelievable photo portrait type opportunities are literally everywhere.

Everglades Loop Road Eco-System

At some point, my mind wandered beyond this virtual wildlife parade about the time a three or four-foot snake of undetermined type was leisurely swimming by. 

How did this road get here? Who forged this trail through dense trees, vines, undergrowth, and water? How many men succumbed to the perils of the swamp and what was their life like 100 years ago when the road was first cut through this swampy mess? 

With the man-made enemies of the Everglades, should we even be here?

If no other reason to visit, you will understand the ecosystem that has been the home to Native Americans, gladesmen and pioneers for hundreds of years. It is difficult to visualize how man survived in this natural wonderland of trees, vegetation, tangled brush, vast grasslands, and brackish streams that make up the Everglades.

Originally published at https://floridatravel.blog/loop-road-alligator-highway/

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