Mosquitoes. Mud. Blink-and-you’re-lost terrain. Waist-deep wading through a swamp with alligators and water moccasins. But brave all of this on the 30-mile segment of the Florida Trail from the Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center to I-75, and you’ll be richly rewarded with silent cypress stands, orchids and bromeliads, secluded campsites on blessed bits of dry land, and some of the East’s darkest night skies. Info nps.gov/bicy; floridatrail.org
Thirty miles in Florida’s swampy backcountry can challenge even the toughest of nerves. But if you can stomach the elements, the rewards will gladly greet you.