101 Travel Bits: Everglades National Park - Flamingo
Time for an excerpt from our book, 101 Travel Bits: Everglades National Park. Today's excerpt is from the book's entry on Flamingo, a small community on the Gulf of Mexico.
"Sitting at the southern end of the Main Road and the Wilderness Waterway, Flamingo was once a small town, but is now the southern headquarters of Everglades National Park. From Flamingo, visitors can take numerous hiking trails and paddling trails to explore the Everglades.
First settled by people of European descent in 1892, Flamingo gets its name from the bird of the same name. At the time of its settlement, flamingos came to this part of Florida in large numbers.
During its early years, the people who settled in Flamingo made their living by supplying Key West with fish, vegetables, and charcoal. However, the settlement was never very large. Except for a brief period during Prohibition when moonshining became a major source of income for residents, Flamingo was never much more than a small fishing town consisting of a few dozen families.
When Everglades National Park was dedicated in 1947, the few remaining residents were forced to leave Flamingo. Park services, including a restaurant, marina, and a hotel, were built in Flamingo, along with the visitor center. However, in 2005, Hurricane Wilma destroyed most of the park services. Although some facilities, like the visitor center, have reopened despite additional damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017, others have not. For example, what remained of the hotel after Hurricane Wilma was razed. Despite these problems, Flamingo remains a major location from which visitors can explore Everglades National Park."
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