This is a fun day trip with flat water and the only reason I rate it as moderate is because you have to go through a two mile mangrove tunnel that requires some navigation. But the trip shows a lot of the variety from black and red mangroves, many large palm trees, some old cypress and a couple of beautiful lakes. Many birds can be observed and of course a couple of alligators. The banks are limestone so you don't see a lot of sunning gators (too rough). I started out at the Ivy house in Everglades City and they will give you a ride to the start and you paddle seven and one half miles back to your car. This is an easy 3-4 hour trip with options to do some side trips to Turner Lake or go out into the gulf to one of the islands for lunch. The only problem is in the mangrove tunnels you MUST bring bug spray, they can be a pest sometimes. Happy paddling!
This is a trip to be done from December through April only, too many bugs the hotter months, and bring a small paddle for the mangrove tunnels.
Camping close by at Seminole state park, nice rooms at Ivy House,short on varieties of food though. Also, good island camping in the Everglades National Park. Ivy house also rents kayaks and canoes.
A $20.00 shuttle fee from the Ivy house and a small fee if you camp in the park.
From Naples, go East on 41 about 25 miles to 29, than go south about 3 miles to the Ivy house. Look for a big field on your right when you get into Everglades city and the Ivy house is behind it. From Miami take 41 west to 29.
The trail is marked with markers green going out to the gulf and red going back and some that have a (L) which means it's a loop trail going back to your starting point. I use a paddlers guide to the Everglades National Park for my trips.