By far the best way to experience the Everglades  is in a boat. Canoe and kayak rental opportunities abound, and there are several boat trails throughout Everglades National Park . While several rental agencies offer guided tours, the quietude of solo exploration has its advantages.
Unless you’re hauling a lot of gear, a kayak is far better suited to the narrow waterways of the Glades, as you’ll appreciate the navigational flexibility when making your way through a dense thicket of mangroves. For overnight boaters, there are several Seminole-style “chickees” located throughout the park that provide an elevated and roofed camping area right on the water.
Experienced boaters will want to explore the 3–6 miles of twists and turns of the popular Hell’s Bay Canoe Trail, a challenging run that can take up to six hours to navigate completely.
Nine Mile Pond Trail is only 3.5 miles long (the name relates to the distance to the former site of a visitors center), and it is well marked, guiding paddlers through mangrove tunnels and several wider marshes; it’s best explored during the summer when water levels are higher.
A much easier trail is the two-mile loop of the Noble Hammock Canoe Trail, which only takes about an hour to traverse.
Canoe and kayak rentals are available in Everglades City  at Everglades Rentals inside the Ivey House Inn (107 Camellia St., 239/695-4155) and at Glades Haven Cozy Cabins (875 S. Copeland Ave., 239/695-2746). Canoes rent for $35 for a full day, while kayaks rent for $45–65 for a full day.
There are numerous fishing charters available near Everglades National Park . Everglades Kayak Fishing (239/695-9107), Captain Tony Polizos (239/695-2608), and Captain Nick Varallo (239/695-2536) operate out of Everglades City. Near Marco Island , Naples , and the Ten Thousand Islands , the guides Satisfaction Guaranteed (239/642-9779) and Captain T. J. Reuther (239/775-9178) are recommended.
Hunting is illegal within Everglades National Park, but there are several private hunting preserves in the area. Everglades Adventures (28965 Obern Rd., Clewiston, 863/983-8999, www.huntsflorida.com ) is one of the largest.