The Story Behind the Everglades Airboat

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(Source: Everglades Holiday Park)

(Source: Everglades Holiday Park)

Everglades airboat rides have been a family favorite activity for generations, it’s the perfect opportunity for tourists and native Floridians alike to experience the wonders and mystery of the largest tropical wetland in the United States. It’s excitement, exhilaration and education all in one. With wildlife encounters, top speeds and gorgeous scenery, an Everglades airboat tour is one experience you don’t want to miss. So what’s the story behind these amazing boats and what can you expect to experience if you decide to venture out into the Florida Everglades via airboat?

What Exactly Is an Airboat?

Modern airboats come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, but they all have one very important thing in common- a flat-bottom. The Everglades airboat is uniquely designed to navigate shallow waters without harming wildlife or disturbing the incredible flora and vegetation that characterizes this unique ecosystem. With aircraft type propellers and small engines to move them forward, airboats are the perfect vessels for safe, comfortable exploration- and that’s why airboat tours are a popular pastime for families with little ones looking to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature up close and personal.

Like most other boats, airboats do not come equipped with breaks and cannot travel in reverse. The driver or “captain” sits high above the passengers on an elevated seat for visibility over swamp vegetation. And that’s part of the fun, because gliding across a river of grass at top speeds is as enjoyable for mom and dad as it is for thrill-seeking kids.

A Look Back

Prior to the introduction of the airboat, explorers and biologists were forced to walk through shallow, muddy waters or push themselves in unpowered vessels using long sticks. Florida was the first state in the country to register an airboat in 1920, but it lacked power and was difficult to maneuver. Folks started aggressively building their own homemade versions, but it wasn’t until the 1940’s before the traditional design used today emerged. Two gentlemen from the Bear River Bird Refuge in Utah constructed the “alligator I”, a flat-bottomed boat with an aircraft engine.

Touring the Everglades By Airboat

Today, folks come from all over the world for the opportunity to explore Florida’s most exciting natural attraction; the Everglades. Everglades airboat rides are fun, safe and a super easy and convenient way to introduce kids to wildlife while exploring the beauty and magic of this untouched environment. Airboat rides are typically packed with gator sightings, but the thrill can continue with an exciting live gator show. Everglades Holiday Park is home to Animal Planet’s “Gator Boys” who entertain guests after their tour with high-energy fun and incredible tricks in the world famous “Gator Pit”.

An airboat is a unique, fun and safe way to explore the Florida Everglades. The environment is awe-inspiring and with the right captain, an Everglades airboat ride is a unique learning experience and thrill sure to leave an impression far after your tour ends.

Above content provided by Everglades Holiday Park

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