Here you’ll find the Turner River Canoe Trail, which runs 8.5 miles (13.7 km) downstream from the beginning of the river to Chokoloskee, with the Gulf Coast Visitor Center an additional 3 miles (4.8 km) down the way. Allow 5–8 hours for the entire trip. The Halfway Creek and Loop Trails are approximately 4–8 hour round trips, which are accessible from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City or from the Big Cypress Welcome Center on Sea Grape Drive off of US 41. If you’d like to get out and hike for a bit during your paddle, the Sandfly Island Loop takes you to Sandfly Island, where you can explore a one-mile loop on dry land. This 5-mile (8-km) route takes between 2.5–4 hours to complete.
Most visitor centers have an expansive map of trails. Flamingo Visitor Center has 10 canoe trails to explore through mangrove islands and large open lakes, but the most famous paddling route through the Everglades is the 99-mile (159-km) Wilderness Waterway trail, which begins at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center and terminates at Flamingo; most people allow eight days to complete the trail.
If paddling with an expert is on the itinerary, there are several great outfitters that operate from Flamingo Visitor Center, Everglades City, 10,000 Islands, Royal Palm, Shark Valley, or even Islamorada, down in the Florida Keys. With day trips that can range from 1–6 hours, these knowledgeable and professional companies will not only navigate you through the labyrinth of sawgrass marshes and cypress forests, but will also help you spot the most famous locals of the Everglades: alligators, egrets, manatees, and an impressive array of other bird and marine life. To really immerse yourself in the Everglades, consider an overnight or multi-day tour that combines paddling with camping.