We had a wonderful time up in Big Cyprus Swamp. So much so, that we want to make that a regular experience once or twice a year, every year that we stay in Marathon. It is only two hours away by car.
- We camped in the Monument Lake campground. There are two other federal campgrounds nearby. All three of them look good.
- All the RV spots were full, but there were vacancies in the tent-only category. I suspect that may change on weekends.
- We visited the Clyde Butcher studio and store. His photos are amazing. You have to see them yourself. A computer screen's resolution can not do them justice.
- We took the ranger-led swamp walk starting at the Oasis Visitor Center. That was an excellent experience, and something we can recommend for everyone. We learned a lot. We also learned that we can do the walk any time without a ranger. But you do need a walking stick to keep your balance.
- The water is not "swampy" it is pure and cool and crystal clear. The water temperature was 72F.
- We also drove the 26 miles on "the loop road" to see the back areas of Big Cyprus swamp. The beautiful scenes were too numerous to mention.
- There were very few bugs. The swamp is most beautiful in summer when everything blooms, including the cyprus trees and the orchids, and when the water temperature is 85F. But the bugs are unbearable in summer and the cold-blooded critters much more active then.
- We learned that Big Cyprus Swamp is very different than The Everglades. The former is a swamp, the latter is savannah grass. The two are side-by-side along Alligator Alley (FL route 41)