Tips for 2 week florida holiday / herping trip may

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Frankvanbalken
Posts: 21
Joined: September 6th, 2019, 5:18 am

Tips for 2 week florida holiday / herping trip may

Post by Frankvanbalken »

Hi guys

After a (herpwise) disappointing summer holiday to greece due to a heatwave, I am really looking forward to our next holiday to florida in may.
Because my wife is already looking for nice hotels i am looking into the best places to be for herping. So we can combine summer holiday activities with some herping. we will definitly stop near the everglades but other destinations are not pinned yet. do you have any tips in good public accesable area's or NP for herping? A region is fine i know you dont give specific locations.

Do i focus on night herping (road cruising) or daytime walking end of april / beginning of may? I would love to do both..especially night herping at everglades.. but some nice daytime walks would be nice to

All tips are welcome..

Thanks

stlouisdude
Posts: 430
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT

Re: Tips for 2 week florida holiday / herping trip may

Post by stlouisdude »

Unfortunately I do not know Florida very well to help you. However, I've taken a few trips there and depending on your expectations you may be quite happy with what you can find. I mean Florida is really a different kind of place than a lot of the US so much of this depends on your frame of reference and previous experiences. For me, South Florida is awesome, too. I love seeing all of the exotics right here in the USA. I'm not saying I love that exotics are there, I'm just saying since they are anyway I enjoy seeing them. I even enjoy looking at the fish where the water is clear enough to do so and if nothing else is happening you could dipnet stuff. I like seeing alligators, cottonmouths, agamas, etc. . Like monkeys, sloths, etc, there's plenty of places you can interact with them when herping is not good. I saw an island with monkeys near crystal river a decade or so ago, not sure if it's still there and I read of another place with wild monkeys. Borrowing owls? There's a tour for those. Driving the everglades after dark is a given, take a peek for the crocs. Florida is a good place to look for pygmies, I imagine you can find trails that are known to harbor large amounts with minimal searching ( I didn't write any of this stuff down sorry). I like stuff like gatorland too, well you won't see so many herps maybe gators and turtles but lots of bird nests in season are pretty interesting, there was on incidental snake seen from the train but it got away. The largest bathouse in the world is in gainsville. AnywayI hope someone who knows something helpful will write to you, but I would encourage you not to worry too much as there is a lot to see in Florida. I don't know about times of year, I last went in Jan. or Feb to Miami and Central Florida. It was probably 88-90F one day even then. For someone living up North, it was surprising having to let the car air out in winter.

Frankvanbalken
Posts: 21
Joined: September 6th, 2019, 5:18 am

Re: Tips for 2 week florida holiday / herping trip may

Post by Frankvanbalken »

Thanks stlouisdude for your reply and tips.

I also don't mind seeing the exotics. Ik read some forum posts here and see there is plenty to see in the Miami parks so I will definitly check that out.
I do prefer the native species though, love to see other wildlife like birds and mammals to. I did not know there were sloths and monkeys in florida.. For some reason the crocs are not on my top list, but that bathouse sounds great. I will look into that.
I would love to see some pigmies when walking trails in south florida. If any of the other forum user knows a good area to go let me know.
Good to hear you name the crystal river area. This is on our list because my wife really wants to see the manatees.
As I progress in my planmaking i do have some specific questions that hopefully some of you can answer:

- any tips for miami parks that are good for searching exotics like night anoles, green iguanas, chameleons?
- Is the crystal river area also good for herping?
- I know it is total handsoff animals insdide NP's like the everglades. But do I need a license to handle snakes outside the parks in florida?
- How bad are the musquitos during the day in Everglades in beginning of may. I would love to go walking with wife and kids but if we will be attacked by hundreds of musquitos it might not be worth it
- I would love to do a 'snaketour' or a walk / drive with an fellow enthousiast who can show me/us around. But i don't like mass tours / gatorparks or zoo-like areas. Does anyone know any organisations / people that do this kind of activities?

Thanks for your time

Regards Frank

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