Ponzi scheme got you down? Go to Hell. Hell's Bay Chickee wildlife adventure campsite in the Everglades, that is. It's part of the 99-mile "Wilderness Water Trail" between Chokoloskee and Flamingo. The only way to get there is to paddle — no motors allowed. From Flamingo, it's an eight-mile "one way in-and-out" Hell's Bay canoe trail marked by more than 160 white PVC pipes that'll challenge your navigation skills as you traverse maze-like turns through mangrove tunnels before arriving at the open waters of Hell's Bay. Float up to your back-country chickee and hoist yourself up to the roofed, open wooden platform on stilts where you'll be sleeping. No fires are allowed, so bring a portable stove if you wanna cook. Now sit back and relax; you're in the middle of nowhere and your phone can't get a signal. The frogs croak, the birds squawk, the water ripples with fish and gators, and you can feel all the trivial pursuits melt away as you focus on the elements of survival. You'll want to make this trip between December and April; otherwise, the heat and mosquitoes will either kill you or drive you crazy. A camping permit is required and costs $10 to process and $2 a day per person (though it's free May through November, probably because of that heat and those skeeters). You can rent a canoe at the Flamingo Visitor Center, but if you wanna go to Hell's Bay, you have to BYOB (bring your own boat). Yes, the trip will literally take you to Hell and back, but at least you'll get some peace of mind along the way.

Location Details

38 miles southwest of S. Dixie Highway at Southwest 344th St. in Florida City
Homestead FL 33030


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