Latitude / Longitude:
25°8′27″N 80°55′27″W / 25.14083°N 80.92417°W / 25.14083
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Flamingo is the southernmost headquarters of Everglades National Park, in Monroe County, Florida, United States, located at the end of the 99-mile (159-km) Wilderness Waterway known as the Ten Thousand Islands, and the southern end of the only road (running 39.3 miles (63.2 km)) through the park from Florida City. It began as a small coastal settlement on the eastern end of Cape Sable on the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, facing Florida Bay. The actual town of Flamingo was located approximately 4 1/2 miles west of the current Flamingo campground area. All that remains of the former town are a few remnants of building foundations, but it is considered a ghost town.
Flamingo was first settled circa 1892, although Tequesta Indians had lived in the area prior to that. The settlers made a living by providing fish, fresh vegetables and charcoal to Key West. The settlement received its name in 1893 when the settlers had to choose a name for their new post office. They chose the flamingo as the most distinctive bird seen in the area. While the flamingo did not breed in Florida, birds from Cuba and the Bahamas once traveled in large numbers to the area. Flamingos were last seen in large numbers in the area in 1902. The post office closed in 1909.
In addition to hiking, the national park offers many paddling opportunity to traveler to explore the wilderness through the mangrove mazes, sawgrass prairies and open waters of Florida Bay. A guided boat tour, narrated by the boat captains, is also available at the Flamingo. Some enthusiasts take advantages of canoe or kayak rentals available from Everglades National Park Boat Tour next to the marina store. Flamingo’s Canoe trails range from half mile short distance to 99 mile long Wilderness Waterway trail and most of them can be accessed from launch areas in Flamingo.
Flamingo is one of the interpretive centers of the Everglades National Park. The hiking trails such as the Snake Bight Trail, Christian Point Trail, Rowdy Bend Trail and Coastal Prairie Trail allow visitors to experience the buttonwood, mangrove and coastal prairie ecosystems. The Coastal Prairie trail leads to the former town of Flamingo. Eco Pond is man-made and is part of Flamingo’s sewage treatment system. As the largest body of fresh water in the saltwater area of the Everglades it attracts birds in abundance. It had been surrounded by invasive, non-native Brazilian pepper bushes before the National Park Service recently removed this alien weed and replaced it with native vegetation.