BEST PLACE TO HIKEBig Cypress National PreserveTamiami Trail (U.S. 41) approximately 54 miles west of downtown Miami
www.nps.gov/bicy/sandytrail Why drive more than an hour just to find a place to hike? Because the drive across the Everglades is itself engrossing, and because Big Cypress boasts far more hiking trails, and a greater variety of trails, than anywhere else in South Florida. The Website address above will take you directly to the preserve's hiking page. You'll be surprised what you find, not least of which are the warnings: difficult terrain, waist-deep water, disorientation. There are a number of trail options for light hikers, including some that stay high and dry all year. But you know you're in marvelously challenging territory when park service experts practically scream at you to carry a GPS unit with extra batteries -- and you'd better know how to use it!