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Run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this recreation area offers some of America's finest birding and freshwater fishing. The area provides entry to the prairies of Mizell, Chase, Grand, and Chesser, the last the site of a century-old farmstead. Small lakes and "gator holes" are sprinkled throughout the area. The visitor information center provides an orientation film and offers exhibits of the swamp's flora and fauna. Take a boardwalk over the water to a 40-foot observation tower. Several interpretive walking trails and picnic sites are available. The 12-mile-long canal results from a failed attempt in the 1880s to drain the swamp. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides overnight and 2- to 5-day canoe trips, but reservations are essential. Canoe rentals begin at $25 for day trips, $16 for the second day. The Canal Recreation Concession rents everything from canoes to boats, from sleeping bags and Coleman stoves to portable toilets. It also rents bicycles for $10 per day.