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Latest update: Dec. 2017

Top 10...  Shark Valley Trail, Everglades

Bike with Gators!

Shark Valley is truly one of the most unforgettable bicycle rides in America, if not the world. Alligators are an awesome Florida symbol, and on this ride, you literally bike with (and around) alligators. Located off the Tamiami Trail (US 41) near the Miccosukee Indian Reservation west of Miami, Shark Valley is a 14.5 mile paved loop traveled by bike, foot or tram. Bikes can be rented at the Visitor Center, or bring your own. The 65-foot observation tower offers panoramic views of the "river of grass." It's in a remote location, but well worth a trip (cool weather only)! Again... unforgettable! Detailed map and photos below.)

Shark Valley, Everglades

Mileage: 14.5 mile loop
Surface: Asphalt
Location: Dade County (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Miccosukee Indian Reservation, Miccosukee Resort and Casino, Miami Beach, Everglades, Florida Keys, Big Cypress Preserve.

Bike Shops/Rentals

Shark Valley Tram Tours

Support and Advocacy

Friends of the Everglades

BIKING AT SHARK VALLEY... Comments and Photos

For a unique view, during a clear night with a full moon, ride to the observation tower to watch the sunset (park outside the main gate). On the ride back, you will not need a light! With moonlight reflecting off the river of grass like a mirror, you can't tell when twilight ends and night begins. During the cooler months, local bike clubs often meet here for this moonlight ride, so you won't be alone.


Visitor Center

Trailhead parking, bike rentals, tram tours, information, snacks, restrooms. The park is open 24 hours a day, but the parking lot closes at 6 p.m. Overflow or late parking is available outside the gate or along US41.


Western Side - trailhead to observation tower

The western side is straight with a canal alongside. You'll see far more alligators, birds and other wildlife up close on this side. During a cool winter day, dozens of alligators might be seen on the ride out to the tower.


At the observation tower

At the halfway point of the trail. When parking your bike, be sure to take any bags or food with you. The blackbirds are expert bag breakers, even opening zippers to get at contents. Restrooms, Borrow Pit Trail, sweeping views of the "River of Grass."


Eastern side - Observation tower back to trailhead

The eastern side is curvy, with no canal running alongside, so fewer gators are usually seen. This is the newer section, built with fill creating three small lakes near the end of the ride. While more "environmentally friendly," the wildlife obviously prefer the canal.


More Gators

This is what you came to see, here are some more alligators. While gators usually bask on the side of the trail, sometimes one will simply crawl out to the middle and plunk down. So you learn to ride around, or wait for the next tram (running every 20 minutes in season) to chase it off.


Other Wildlife

There also are many birds, turtles, fish, and we've seen deer, too. During the day, wading birds fan out into the everglades to feed; in the evening, they flock to alligator holes to roost (this keeps the birds safe from raccoons and other predators). One very popular alligator hole is next to the Park Visitor's Center. Beginning near sunset, you can watch as thousands of birds flock in to roost right in front of you. A captivating scene!

More Everglades Biking

The highlight of biking in Everglades National Park is Shark Valley, but there are more biking opportunities (not all paved) and biking is permitted on park roads:

 

Loop Road

A 26-mile road 4 miles west of Shark Valley off the Tamiami Trail (US 41) in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The road is bumpy (you'll want to drive) but portions are bike-able and the scenery is unmatched. Watch the birds in the brush and the otters cavorting in the ponds - and the gators!


Flamingo Visitor Center

Flamingo Visitor Center. Parking, restrooms, marina and marina store, cafe (Jan.-May), exhibits, brochures, campground. Bicycle, kayak and canoe rentals and boat tours. Guy Bradley Trail is a 1 mile scenic shortcut along Florida Bay between campground and Visitor Center.

December 2017 - Flamingo Visitor Center is only partially open due to extensive hurricane damage. Boat tours are suspended until further notice. See the park website for current information.


Everglades- Snake Bight Trail

Snake Bight - 1.6 miles to Florida Bay. Tropical hardwood hammock, bird watching. Bicycles allowed except on the dock; off-road biking.

Rowdy Bend Trail

Rowdy Bend - 2.6 miles - Overgrown old road bed joins with the Snake Bight Trail. Off-road biking - a workout!


Rowdy Bend Trail

Long Pine Key Nature Trail - 7 miles (one way) continuous nature trail from the Long Pine Key campground to Pine Glades Lake. Also accessible from the main park road for a shorter ride. Off-road biking.

Old Everglades road, biking, hiking

Old Ingraham Highway - Near the Royal Palm Visitor Center, 11 miles. Open to bicycles. Rutted, but a hard-packed surface.

 

Also visit us here: Paddling in the Everglades

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