Florida Trail, Big Cypress National Preserve, FL

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.

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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

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