GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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"Ranger patrol hikes" are organized by the Ya'axché Conservation Trust, a nongovernmental organization that among other things manages the 15,000-acre Golden Stream corridor preserve north of Punta Gorda. These hikes start at the field station at Golden Stream, with a climb of the fire tower for a bird's-eye view of the area, and then "ranger work" such as wildlife logs, patrols, and biodiversity transects. This is something of an adventure in an area not normally accessible to visitors. Check with Hickatee Cottages (662/4475 www.hickatee.com) for details.