Shark Valley Trail

EASY 97 reviews
#1 of 22 trails in

Shark Valley Trail is a 15.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Miami, Florida 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.

DISTANCE
15.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
22 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

no dogs

road biking
29 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

3 months ago

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.

hiking
5 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.

6 months ago

It’s amazing place... I love it.

road biking
6 months ago

As Michael says: First half of the loop (right side) has a lot of animals (gators, birds, turtles). More than I have seen anywhere else in the park other than at Anhinga Trail at sun set - but 2nd half is just landscape and no animals except a heron or two.
Nevertheless a great trip!

mountain biking
6 months ago

Saturday, June 17, 2017

lots of skeeters when you get to tower.

mountain biking
Friday, May 12, 2017

The first half of the loop (right side) is wonderful, with lots of birds and gators to see as you ride through. The observation tower is also great, but the second half of the loop was surprisingly barren and boring.

mountain biking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

relaxing and fun! recommend to do in South Florida...

hiking
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

It was an awesome trail but it was a hot day. Recommend bike riding

road biking
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

During the dry season. The first half is good with plenty of things to see. The midpoint tower is a must. So much going on in a small area. The second half there wasn't much to see. I'd recommend using a bike.

nature trips
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Unless you're really into hiking a long way and seeing the same thing, i suggest taking the tram tour (excellent and time efficient) or biking.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

When it comes to hiking and you just like to have a long walk then go for it. If you are into hiking to see nice views don't waste the leg work. For the first 7 miles after the third alligator you've seen enough. The last loop is just grass and swamp on both sides. You are walking on asphalt the whole way. It was just miserable.

road biking
Sunday, November 27, 2016

14-mile loop deep into the Everglades and back. Path lined with alligators all the way and back. Best to go during winter to avoid mosquitos.

road biking
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Decent views. Bring a bike or rent one there!

mountain biking
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Great flat road trail, best to go in the winter when you see more gators

walking
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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.

birding
Thursday, March 03, 2016

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.

road biking
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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.

road biking
Monday, December 21, 2015

Loved biking on this trail.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Could get hot and no shadows but a good bike ride

birding
Saturday, October 17, 2015

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.

hiking
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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

road biking
Thursday, July 02, 2015

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 :)
Happy Trails!

nature trips
Friday, April 03, 2015

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.

road biking
Thursday, March 05, 2015

Beautiful! We rode the bikes early in the morning, so it was not so hot. Just a great experience.

road biking
Thursday, February 05, 2015

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!

mountain biking
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nice ride at night when there is full moon. Make sure to bring flashlights. Also gorgeous ride at sunrise.

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