The Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. This mangrove ecosystem and marine estuary is home to 36 protected species, including the Florida panther, American crocodile, and West Indian manatee. Some areas have been drained and developed; restoration projects aim to restore the ecology. Some entrances are closed seasonally.
One of the few real hiking trails that I attempted during my visit last Thanksgiving weekend. This would be a great trail in the dead of a cold south Florida winter or if you are 100% prepared for the onslaught. Despite my near heroic efforts, as well as being covered head to toe and doused with bug spray, I was not able to complete it. They really should rename it Mosquito Bite Trail. If you are looking for a challenge, this truly qualifies.
This is a short walk on a paved trail, but there are some nice sights along the way. Bug spray is a must. No fewer than seven mosquitoes were buzzing around me at any time. Thanks to bug spray, I didn't get a single bite- but I shudder to think what would have happened without.
There are some informative plaques along the trail, so this is great for the curious tourist unfamiliar with south Florida's environment.
I have both walked and biked The 15 miles of Shark Valley. Don't exactly recommend doing it on foot unless you are well prepared with the right shoes etc. Don't be impulsive and wearing just any sneakers and without a real plan decide to do the trail (like me) because you will end up with blisters. As far as scenery goes, I find it pretty bland. You will get over the shock of the Gators eventually and it will all be the same expanse over and over: flat land, no curves. It's not particularly challenging (other than distance) so I am remised to call it a hike! As far as cycling goes, at least it's much safer than the South Florida roads, so I definitely recommend it for a getaway from suburbia/the city on a well-kept trail that is safely tucked away from rampant car drivers.
Hiked part of the Old Ingraham Highway trail on a beautiful warm and breezy afternoon. The scenery is lovely, marshes on either side of the trail. Heard some gators, but didn't see any. We started late in the day and didn't reach the campground at the end of the trail, but enjoyed the hike immensely.
Abigail S. on Gumbo Limbo Trail
Easy and informative!