Shark Valley Trail is a 15.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Miami, FL that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Decent views. Bring a bike or rent one there!
Great flat road trail, best to go in the winter when you see more gators
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.
Very long trail, best done with bikes. Wildlife is abundant here, and bikes can be rented at visitor center. Be sure to stop at the observation tower at the halfway mark. Bring lots of water.
Enjoyed this trail a lot. I went in a group for a full moon ride in late January. We arrived around 5 pm. Temperatures were mid 50's at that point when we began. The best part of this ride was when the sun was setting on one end of the trail, while the moon was rising on the other. The sky was dimly lit and we all stopped to enjoy the view and take pictures. On the ride back it was almost pitch black. We used flash lights to guide the path, while the temperatures had dropped to high 40's. I'm excited to do this trail again before the hot Miami weather returns, but next time during the day.
Loved biking on this trail.
Could get hot and no shadows but a good bike ride
I guess it all depends when you go. I went in September in the afternoon.
I took the shuttle tour.
I tell you not a bird, not a alligator nothing.
After the first ten minutes it was a shuttle full of bored looking tourist.
Hiked the full paved trail 9/10 make sure to take shoes other than that had a great time saw lots of wildlife. Great experience also make sure to take lots of water if you are going to hike
One of my very, very favorite places to bike in South Florida! ON a scorching June day, at noon, we took the trek to the tower and back - totally worth it! Had a little rain in the afternoon but otherwise, VERY active animals on the path (alligator literally stopped on that path!), turtle, birds, a snake to name a few. Drink LOTS of fluids! We did see several people passing out from the heat, one picked up by a park ranger and another family walked too far and had to 'tram' it back. Totally worth the day's trip, the entire loop.
The only downfall is we miscalculated the '7 day free' fee - bought on Saturday, came back on a Saturday ("That makes 8 days!" said the attendant - had to pay all over again, but it was worth it!)
In cooler weather, this is an absolute must to ride bikes.
If you don't have one, you can rent one - but at $9 an hour PER BIKE and the trail taking 2-3 hours, you may want to bring your own like we did :)
Just a check on the mileage involved at Shark Valley. To go the whole distance - to the tower and back - it's about 15 miles round trip. Its an easy tram ride, a fun bike ride and a long hike; but all do-able. I've been there many times. Especially wonderful are the full moon events and any ranger-led take-offs into the muck. See lots of gators, birds, otters, deer, etc.
Beautiful! We rode the bikes early in the morning, so it was not so hot. Just a great experience.
One of my favorite places with my classmates studying coastal marine ecology. This area is beautiful, and holds so many wonders that go unseen at first glance. We were there in the winter, and the alligators along the canal had all come up next to the trial. We were consistently within 3 feet of alligators for most of the time as we rode along on bikes. Amazing!
Nice ride at night when there is full moon. Make sure to bring flashlights. Also gorgeous ride at sunrise.
Nice bike ride at night. Also good to ride at sunrise or sundown. Just make sure to bring plenty of light if riding at night.
This is one of my favorite trails here in South Florida. My last trip was in March and this was my niece's first time in the 'Glades. That trip we took the tram tour, which is great if you have someone in your group that can't handle the trail. But the best trips have been in the fall and winter, bicycling under the full moon. Park outside of the park entrance at dusk. All the birds are coming in to roost for the night. Not too many gators on the trail at night but you can hear them and the pig frogs grunting. Climb the observation tower and look at the gators eyes glowing in the moonlight. Just amazing. Oh yes, and in the cooler months, the mosquitoes are not a problem.
Don't forget that a National Park requires helmets and lights on the bicycles at night.
Gator filled fun!