I was wondering: i am going to the Everglades National Park at the end of the month for a few days and I was wondering if I could bring my canoe there?
This (removed) spammy link assures me its fine but I feel nervous about it.
What do you all think?
I know non-river people who have rented canoes and paddled in Florida - the gators are more afraid of you than you are of them. The folks I know couldn't even get close to a gator before it slipped in the water to hide.
Just don't go for a swim and you'll be fine - it's gorgeous down there!
I've paddled a ton in Florida and had some minor run-ins with alligators...most involved the gator swimming under the boat, getting freaked out, and thrashing a little as it swam away. It makes your heart go a bit fast especially if they are bigger than your canoe or kayak, but the only really dangerous thing I ever saw was a tourist couple who paddled up to a LARGE male alligator during breeding season and it charged off the bank and hit their boat. They were fine but I'm pretty sure the guy had peed himself. I wouldn't worry about it...but maybe don't splash around a ton if you think one is right under the boat. They evolved to catch smaller prey like raccoons, birds, small mammals...they will grab deer and people occasionally but its pretty rare. Check out the Peace river while you're down there...fantastic trip with tons of cool fossils in the riverbed, great scenery and wildlife.
Vanessa (not mbannister )
When I lived in FL (early 90's) a kid got killed by a gator during a canoe rental trip with his parents in the Everglades. They were careless, though. He was wading in the water beside the canoe when it happened.
I only lived in FL for about 3 years but there were enough alligator attacks in that short time that I pretty much stayed away from fresh water. I did one dive in a lake for a scuba class and the entire class was very nervous. I'd rather dive with sharks than in a lake in Florida.
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