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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.

walking
9 days ago

Great trail. You have the option of going through the longer, winding trail that offers more landscape views or the shorter, straight trail that offers more chances of seeing wildlife.

road biking
28 days ago

Best on a crisp cool sunny winter day!

walking
1 month ago

What a perfect little synopsis of the Everglades - lizards, gators, and a stunning variety of birds and plantlife. The boardwalk is very well thought out and beautifully built. There is also a neighboring trail loop to the west that offers a taste of the hammock ecosystems there.

A great option for your first or only day in the Everglades.

paddle sports
2 months ago

A great experience and recommended highly for reasonably fit paddlers with at least a moderate level of experience, including kayak camping. Research it well-once you start, there is no civilization until the end. No crossroads, no stores, no ranger stations, nothing but the Chickees and ground sites that you will be camping on. It may be accessible all year round but unless you are fond of paddling in full mosquito/no-see-um gear you don't want to except in the dead of winter (January and maybe the first half of Feb.). Also you are required to declare your campsites in advance and stick to them. They take commando camping very seriously here. It's not like a forest trail where, if things don't work out, you can just move off the trail and camp. You can't do that here-trust me-and if too many people show up at a Chickee it can be a serious problem. I strongly recommend paddle camping overnight in the area at least once before you start the trail and be prepared for some gymnastics getting on and off the Chickees. When I went there were a couple that still didn't have ladders. The park service has tons of good info online-read it. If you go in winter, after a couple of good cold fronts have dropped the mosquitos to a more tolerable level you will see other folks on the waterway, we never had a day when we didn't. If you don't have good navigational skills and/or a good nav app & GPS I would fore-go "The Nightmare" and take the coastal detour but we did it and I thought it was one of the highlights of the trip. Again, it was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it to any serious paddler.

road biking
2 months ago

Flat with no shade the whole way. Get's pretty hot in the summer- bring lots of water. Doe this a number of times with family (kids as young as 5, but that was difficult for them). Great views of the everglades- especially from the fire tower. There is a restroom at both ends of this out and back trail.

Winter is the best time to go due to less bugs and lower heat. Path is a narrow asphalt one-lane road with primarily cyclists. Caution: there is a tram that shuttles people from the parking lot at the visitors' station to the fire tower- they get the right-of-way. Not really an issue until dusk- when the alligators come onto the trail to warm up and you have to go to the side for the tram to pass ;)

road biking
3 months ago

Great 15 mile loop for exercise and seeing gators up close during the cooler months. They rent bikes for $9 an hour. If you get there before 2 pm there is no wait for a bike. State park that gives you 7 day entrance with one time payment. Park on the side of the street to save time and money!

road biking
4 months ago

We had a fun time on the trail. There were plenty of alligators right next to the trail. Be careful with the kids. The watch tower was great. It was impressive seeing hundreds of birds all nesting in the same area. Entrance was a little steep $25 per car but it's good for a whole week.

road biking
4 months ago

Decent. I would recommend at least to go one time. It’s a good escape, keep in mind the trail takes around 2 hours to complete so be prepared. Bugs are usually around August-September.

hiking
4 months ago

I walked this trail last Fall right before hurricane Irma hit. It was gorgeous ... loads of birds, butterflies, and dragonflies. Lots of mosquitoes too, so go heavy on the insect repellent. It is a nice path that follows the coast, and the path is clear and easy to follow.

4 months ago

This was an easy hike with so much to see! There were lots of alligators, turtles, and so many birds! There were plenty of Anhinga, of course, but we also saw great blue herons, egrets, and many more. VERY beautiful!

4 months ago

Rating must be changed to difficult. Lots and lots of downed trees, swampy at many places. If it's not cleared up quickly this trail is going to disappear soon. Mar 2018 review.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked to the beach March 27 18. It was a windy day so only mosquito issues were in the wooded parts. Fresh panther scat on the trail and had a run in with one rattle snake and another snake so keep your eyes open! last section to get to the beach was about 6 - 8 inch deep marshy water so wear your boots. Sticks shoved in the mud mark the way! Good fun trail made it out and back in about 5 hours and the beach is neat, loaded with shells!

hiking
6 months ago

In April 2018 still very difficult to do a lots of trees across the main trail. I goo in a dry time (1-2 weeks no rain) and the swamp was almost dry. See some birds and a lot of fresh turkey foot print.

Was very enjoyable walking beside the downs tree. Doing this trail + Snake bight trail and returning on the road to the starting point will be almost s 8 miles of fun ( at least the 5 first miles the las 3 is just road walk)

Must watch for the tides I go in a low tide (my mistake) and was very disappointed I will go again in high tide to see the inlet for good.

hiking
6 months ago

Nothing special to see at the end a lot of mud.

If you take the loop counter-clock-wise from the visitor center, just know that the second half after the tower will have a lot less to see (at least in mid-February when I was there). That doesn't mean it's not worth it, but just know that going in. I did see juvenile alligators on the last half, so that made it worth it. This was an awesome place for seeing alligators and birds. And the bike ride was a nice change from walking/hiking.

6 months ago

Great wildlife!

hiking
7 months ago

As of March 2018, this trail is very difficult to traverse. Five miles of climbing under, over and through fallen trees is no silly hike. There are a million trees fallen across the trail and going around them is not always possible. Attempt only if you have swamp boots or high waterproof boots, at the first bend you'll need to cross some pretty swampy area.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a great hike. My 11 year old son and I did it...out one day, return back the next.

Note that the wooden NPS "Clubhouse Beach" sign marker, which used to be on the prairie behind the beach, was swept away (I presume) by Hurricane Irma. You can see a great deal of storm debris lodged up against the scrub treeline on the north side of the prairie.

hiking
7 months ago

I bought a bottle of Ben’s 99% and put it on before this hike. It was in March, so still the dry season, but I had a cloud of mosquitoes hovering about 6-8 inches from my face for much of the way. If you’re at Flamingo and need a long hike, this is it. But it’s not terribly inspiring. One amazing surprise: we saw a Florida panther cross the trail.

We love this trail! Smooth paddling up the canal but please use your judgement when entering Coot Bay it can be too choppy to enter in a small vessel such as a kayak or canoe. We saw gators and crocs, birds, gar fish and there IS the possibility of seeing manatees but over the four times we have gone we have not seen any. Quiet paddling will help if you are interested in seeing them.


The trail from flamingo to coot bay and returning (full there-and-back) was 6.4 miles. They quote less but we usd GPS device and mapping and find it impossible to be that significantly less mileage that they quote. On a windy day we made it there and back in 2 hours so if you are renting a kayak and plan on non-stop paddling you can make it. If you want to relax book the kayak for longer!

Love the trail and we take it when we camp at the Long Pine Key campground. Hiking here provides an environment with less mosquitos than hiking south around flamingo

8 months ago

A LOT of people there but the visitor center is nice and it is a beautiful trail with an abundance of wildlife!!! Birds, crocs, fish, everything you would want to see. Flat, paved and boardwalk.

hiking
8 months ago

I give this trail a 5 for the uniqueness of it. Start on the right side and enjoy all the gators. I saw 77 on the day. They say to stay 15 feet away which is impossible. You will be within 5 feet. The tower was kind of 3/5 but interesting to see over the glades. Irmas caused some Serious destruction out there and bathrooms are currently closed although there is still drinking water.

There are mike markers every mile but the whole trail is on pavement shared with cyclists. Great to run/walk but if you’re planning to do the whole thing I would recommend cycling.

birding
8 months ago

This trail is all about timing. Yes it's flat, yes it's straight. But it leads to the beautiful Florida Bay.
Now when it's comes to this trail. Everything must be perfect..
Step 1. Time of the year! If you want a comfortable walk you have to go either right after a cold front or during a cold front. DO NOT try this is the summer! Even if you're covered head to toe mosquitoes will kill you!
Step 2. Time the tides.. tide to low birds and other animals might be hard to see. Tide too high. You're gonna get a little wet.
Step 3. EARLY MORNING or before dawn
If all those things line up! You'll have a great hike/ birding trip.
Enjoy!

hiking
8 months ago

This is a very well maintained kid friendly trail the whole trail is either paved or transitioned into a very well maintained broadwalk. There are public restrooms at the beginning of the trail. Saw lots of animals, alligators, turtles, double crested cormorants, great blue herons, great egrets, and purple gallinules. I didn’t see any aninghas to my surprise.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail is very easy to walk. I did not see much wildlife but there were a lot of different trees, pines and ferns. There are also a lot of trees along the trail that have fallen due to the hurricane, but the trail has been cleared to allow people to hike it.

hiking
8 months ago

Did two separate sections of this trail over the weekend. The weather was around 70 degrees which decreased the amount of mosquitoes. There are a few unmaintained roads that have some fallen trees since the hurricane. Be aware of your surroundings as we had encounters with one rattlesnake and a cottonmouth on the side of the main trail.

walking
8 months ago

Saw 3 alligators all under 5. Saw several birds, easy paved trail.

There are very few bugs today as it is in the 60s. The trail is a bit muddy but fun seeing all the animal tracks. We did some trail maintenance since hurricane Irma felled some trees. We stopped about halfway out to Clubhouse Beach because we didn’t feel like clearing more branches but will come back soon to backpack out and camp overnight. As for wildlife, we saw swarms of a dark blue bird with white breast (gonna say tree swallows), a tricolor heron in the distance chasing fish, dozens of great egrets squawking in a distant pond, buzzards overhead and we heard an osprey. Crabs, spiders and dragonflies too! It’s a great way to start the New Year!

p..s.This trail is near Flamingo, NOT Ochopee!

fun, short walk.

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