Color-coded in blue on map...
Flamingo Area & Guy Bradley Trail, use south Park entrance
Gulf Coast Visitor Center, trail across street, plus 2 small town rides
Shark Valley Trail, north Park entrance off US 41 (a Top 10 Trail)
Color-coded in green on map...
Primarily for fat tire bikes, go to Everglades Eco-biking for unpaved biking in Everglades National Park (south entrance). Plus see historic roads, and many miles of dirt and gravel trails on canal levees in Wildlife Preserves adjacent to the National Park.
Bike Trails Overview Map... South Florida-Everglades
Here are 3 paved biking options in or adjacent to Everglades National Park. Please note: while the Park Service lists the main Park road between Coe Visitor Center and Flamingo as an option for cyclists, we do not recommend biking on the main Park road (other than within Flamingo itself).
(1) Flamingo Visitor Center, Guy Bradley Trail - This is not a cycling destination, only about 3 miles total round trip. However, bicycles are a great way to explore Flamingo at a slightly faster pace - which helps to avoid the mosquitoes, which are notorious. There is a scenic 0.6 mile paved path along the waters of Florida Bay. The National Park Service lists this trail as 1 mile by including a wide roadway connecting a recreational area along the Bay to the main campground entrance. There's an additional half-mile of biking, going past the Visitor Center and through a large marina area with two launches, saltwater on one side, freshwater on the other. The Flamingo Visitor Center offers parking, restrooms, marina and marine store, restaurant (often closed due to storms), exhibits, and campground. Bicycle rentals are available, along with kayak and canoe rentals, and boat tours. Note: while some do, we avoid biking out onto the main road.
Location: Everglades National Park-Flamingo (See map)
Mileage: Officially 1 mile, more to Visitor Center and marina
Additional Resources: Everglades National Park-Flamingo Visitor Center
(2) Gulf Coast Visitor Center, Chocoloskee Causeway Bike Path. Park at the Visitor Center. The 3 mile bike path is across the street. It begins in Everglades City (pop. 426) and ends in Chokoloskee (pop 359) at the marina. The new bridge along the causeway has a separated walk/bike lane, always a nice feature. While the trail isn't long, it offers water views, great sunsets, plus small laid-back towns at either end of the causeway offer additional miles of casual biking, sightseeing, history, and seafood. Fun Fact: Riding from Everglades City onto the causeway, you first enter Big Cypress Preserve. About half-way along the causeway, you enter Everglades National Park (the waters and islands on both sides).
Location: Collier County by Everglades National Park, Everglades City (See map)
Mileage: 3 miles, plus 2 small town rides
Nearby points of interest: Museum of the Everglades (Everglades City), Smallwood Store (Chokoloskee)
Additional Resources: Everglades National Park-Gulf Coast Visitor Center
Everglades City was designated a "Trail Town" by the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails for its biking and paddling trail access. While there are no dedicated bike paths within the town center, the entire town is bikeable. Located at the mouth of the Barron River at Chokoloskee Bay, the city is a throwback to Old Florida. No chain hotels or stores, just as we like it. Dubbed as the "Stone Crab Capital of the World," there are several good restaurants - serving of course stone crabs, but also some of the best grouper sandwiches we've had.
Everglades was founded in 1895 and served as the county seat of Collier County from 1923 to 1960. Extensive damage from Hurricane Donna in 1960 caused the county seat to be moved to East Naples. In 1965, Everglades became Everglades City. Several historic buildings still exist.
Chokoloskee Island lies in Chokoloskee Bay, the only access by land is over the Causeway. Once past the Causeway, there are no dedicated bike paths but the entire town is bikeable. Fishing and boating in the Ten Thousand Islands and Gulf of Mexico are the main pasttimes. Chokoloskee also is popular with paddlers, a launch point for the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway, Turner River and the Ten Thousand Islands.
Inhabited by the Calusa for about 1500 years before the first Europeans arrived, the current site of the town of Chokoloskee dates to 1874. Smallwood Store was opened by Ted Smallwood (the postmaster) in 1906 as a store, post office and trading post to serve the needs of the community. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, it stayed open until 1982. All the goods remained in the store, the family still retains ownership and reopened it as a museum in the 1990's.
(3) Shark Valley Visitor Center, The Shark Valley Tram Trail (a Top 10).
This is truly one of the most unforgettable bicycle rides in America. Located entirely within Everglades National Park (north entrance) west of Miami, the Shark Valley Trail is a 14.5 mile paved loop traveled by bike, foot, or Park tram. Bikes can be rented at the Visitor Center, or bring your own. You will typically see far more wildlife along the canal on the west side. The most expansive views are on the east side. Best in cool weather, you will soon get used to riding past and at times around - unless you wait for a tram - alligators of up to 10 or 12 feet long. No worries. They will hiss like a cat if you get too close. Bring a camera and plenty of water.
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