I'm Tod and I'm the owner of Tour The Glades. I'm a Florida Native and my family and I live here in the Everglades year round. Nature and the environment have been my passion since I was a child and I bring that with me on every adventure. It was my early obsession with reptiles & amphibians that led me into the Florida wilderness. I first began catching snakes, lizards and turtles in the 3rd grade and bringing them to school for show & tell. I would constantly try to convince my friends to come with me to look for animals and explore the wilderness....now they call that "Eco-Tourism". Florida history is also one of my passions and that seeps into my tours as well. I'm on the board of directors at the Everglades Society for Historic Preservation and continuously study the lives and culture of the Florida natives, early settlers and pioneers. I do not fancy myself as a teacher and will never address you like I'm your camp counselor. I don't try to instill fear in my guests....I choose to empower them with knowledge instead. I've spent 30+ years exploring the Florida wilderness and I pass that knowledge & confidence on to my guests. The Everglades is not the horrifying, scary place that some will have you believe. It's actually a beautiful, delicate environment that you must "get into" in order to truly appreciate. If anyone attempts to convince you otherwise it's only because they do not yet understand this ecosystem and it's wildlife.
When we have a big family or I'm booked my buddies Logan & Josh help with the guided kayak tours. Logan earned his biology degree from Miami University with entomology as an area of concentration. Logan also volunteers with US-State Department of Fisheries on their restocking programs and invasive fish management. He is currently studying the Tarpon population of SW Florida, which will no doubt be a life long project. Logan's a naturalist through and through and hopes to one day work as a Biologist at one of the parks here in the Everglades & 10,000 Islands.
Josh was also born & raised in Florida and started going on guided trips with his Father at just 5 years old. It wasn't long before he was exploring the Florida wilderness on his own....and that adventure has continued to this day. Over the past 10 years Josh has kayaked every major waterway in the state. He's even done the infamous Wilderness Waterway which stretches 100 miles from Everglades City to Flamingo. He volunteers with the state of Florida's archaeological program and has assisted on projects here in the Everglades at Pavilion Key and Turner River. Josh has also done extensive work at the Calusa Capital city of Mound Key in Estero Bay. His in depth knowledge of the Everglades ecosystem combined with his calm, patient demeanor makes him an excellent guide.
Josh & Logan are both close friends of mine and true stewards of the Everglades and I'm proud to have them on my team....so will you.
We only offer private tours because I know from experience that the less noise you make the more wildlife you’ll encounter. This also allows you to move along at your own pace and enhances your overall experience. We discover animals in their natural habitat and stop to observe their behaviors. Hunting, grooming, courtship, fighting, etc. This is much more enriching and allows our guests to get closer to nature making a deeper connection. When you set out in a van with a mixed group of people it’s just not the same as going with your own personal guide. Following behind a group is also counterproductive when trying to spot wildlife. We do all our private tours in the hard to reach areas that are less traveled by tourists and seasonal guides. I find my guests enjoy the quiet and isolation of the Everglades as well.
When choosing a guide (no mater where you’re visiting) you’ll want to go with a local. Someone born and raised in the area with a true natural passion for what they’re doing will make the difference in your trip. We are here boating, hiking, and camping in the Everglades & 10,000 Islands year round. When we're not taking guests out on tours we're outdoors with family and friends. This is a lifestyle...not a 1-800 business plan. I feel that's what makes our tours different from the rest. Our guests experience that first hand and write about it in their Tripadvisor reviews. We end up becoming friends with many of our guests and they'll show up from time to time with other friends & family. After your first tour with us hopefully we'll become your go to source for future visits.