Monday, March 08, 2010

New Flamingo trail a cyclist's delight

The new Guy Bradley Trail at Flamingo in Everglades National Park is a fine addition to one of the loveliest campgrounds I have visited. Bicycling campers will enjoy the path's shoreline views, and nature-lovers, on foot or bike, will welcome the chance to view osprey and other birds in their native surroundings.

Bradley was an Audubon game warden killed by plume hunters in 1905 offshore from Flamingo, a tiny fishing village a century ago. The man who shot him surrendered and spent five months in jail at Key West before trial. He pleaded self-defense and was acquitted. The case sparked a wave of resentment of the trade that collected feathers for hat-makers' use. In response, several states adopted bird-protection laws.

There's nothing fancy about the trail or the campground, but the setting is rare and wonderful. The park has brought the site back from a wasteland following the 2005 hurricanes. Do be prepared for mosquitoes, though. They thrive in the coastal wetland, even on chilly nights.

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