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Everglades, Miami Area Eco-biking Trails...

Unpaved Biking, Hiking in Natural South Florida

Everglades National Park and surrounds are most enjoyable in the cooler months, December to April. Inside the National Park, hiking is most popular on the shorter, unpaved trails. Riding is best suited for fat-tire bikes, a bumpy and slow ride for us, but a good way to outpace the mosquitos, especially on Snake Bight and Rowdy Bend (when open). Just outside Everglades National Park, many miles of dirt and gravel levee trails are especially rough on tires, so plan accordingly if venturing long distances out here. Note: there are also some good, paved biking options nearby (see map below).

Scroll down for unpaved trails, color coded in Green on map...

Inside National Park (via south entrance)

Long Pine Key Nature Trail
Rowdy Bend
Snake Bight

Historic Roads (rutty, unpaved for decades)
Loop Road Scenic Drive (outside Park)
Old Ingraham Highway (inside Park)

Canal Levee Trails, (outside National Park, dirt and gravel)
Biscayne-Everglades Greenway
Southern Glades Trail
Other Canal Levee Trails

Paved biking, color coded Blue on map (scroll in), is available via three main "Visitor Centers," see at Trails - Everglades National Park

Overview Map... Everglades Eco-biking

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Eco-biking Trails - Inside the National Park

Long Pine Key Nature Trail - Located inside the National Park by the Long Pine Key Campground. Take the turnoff 4.25 miles past the Coe Visitor Center (south entrance). The trail entrance is just off the campground road, about a mile from the main road, shortly before the campground and visitor parking. The campground and trail are in a region of the Park known as "The Pinelands," a higher and drier area in the River of Grass. The campground (open November-April) has parking, restrooms, picnic, tent and RV camping. This is the only trail in The Pinelands where bikes are allowed. Others are hiking-only. There is also parking at the other end of the trail at Pine Glades Lake, about 5 miles beyond the turn to the campground. However, the 1/2 mile unpaved road from the main road to the lake is extremely rutty. Plus the location is remote. We prefer to leave our car by the campground.

Mileage: 7 miles (one way)
Surface: Dirt, gravel, limestone (higher, drier than Flamingo area)
Location: Everglades National Park (See map )

Additional Resources: Everglades National Park-Long Pine Key Trails

Starting at the Campground

Ending at Pine Glades Lake


Rowdy Bend - Within Everglades National Park, off the main park road 3 miles north of Flamingo. Parking is roadside. The 2.6 miles (one-way), overgrown old road bed joins with the Snake Bight Trail. A short way from beginning, the trail splits, if you go to the left (the wider path) it dead-ends. Go to the right (look for the marker). The trail is overgrown and narrow in spots - a workout! Conditions can change with the weather, on one trip we were able to bike the route, on our most recent trip it was wet and overgrown. We didn't proceed and some hikers told us it was ankle-deep in water. The trail is not being maintained to prevent damage to habitat of a federally endangered plant species, Cape Sable thoroughwort.

Mileage: 2.6 miles
Surface: Dirt, gravel
Location: Everglades National Park (See map )

Additional Resources: Everglades National Park-Rowdy Bend Trail


Snake Bight - Within Everglades National Park, off the main park road 4 miles north of Flamingo. Parking is roadside. 1.6 miles one-way to Florida Bay, connects to Rowdy Bend Trail. Tropical hardwood hammock, bird watching. Bicycles allowed except on the dock at the bay. Rough, rutted. Weather can affect the trail - on one trip we were able to bike the route, on our most recent it was too muddy. The trail is not being maintained to prevent damage to habitat of a federally endangered plant species, Cape Sable thoroughwort.

Mileage: 1.6 miles
Surface: Dirt, gravel
Location: Everglades National Park (See map )

Additional Resources: Everglades National Park-Snake Bight Trail

 

 

 

Historic Roads - In and near Everglades National Park

These old roads provide some (limited) biking but a lot of history: Loop Road was mapped during a dispute over the route of the original Tamiami Trail, and Old Ingraham Highway was the original road to Flamingo.


Loop Road Scenic Drive - A 26-mile road, 4 miles west of Shark Valley, off the Tamiami Trail (US 41) in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Paved for a short distance at both ends of the road, otherwise unpaved and bumpy. It's bikeable (fat tires recommended), but a long way. Shared with motor vehicles, you may want to drive but do take time for the view. This is a top eco-route - the scenery is unmatched! Watch the birds in the brush and the otters cavorting in the ponds - and the alligators!

Mileage: 26 miles
Surface: Partially paved at the ends, dirt, gravel
Location: Big Cypress National Preserve; Collier, Monroe and Miami-Dade Counties (See map )

Additional Resources: National Park Service-Big Cypress - Loop Road Scenic Drive


Old Ingraham Highway Trail - In Everglades National Park, 2 miles past the Coe Visitor Center (take the road leading to the Royal Palm Visitor Center). After 3/4 mile, turn right (prior to the Visitor Center) and continue past the road leading to a Nike missile exhibit, until the road ends at an entrance gate (bikes can get through, but not cars). Parking is along the side of the road. From here, a 100 yard path merges into the old highway roadbed - leading to Flamingo in the 1920's. The trail runs 11 miles to where the old roadbed has been removed to restore the natural water flow. The old roadbed is extremely rutted, overgrown in places, and no facilities. Listed as a bike trail in Park literature, but in all reality when we last checked, the condition of the roadbed made it more suitable for hiking rather than biking (a pity - we only rode a short distance). Two backcountry campsites are listed here, the Ernest Coe campsite (3.5 miles) and the Old Ingraham campsite (9.9 miles) - check at the visitor centers for permits and information.

Mileage: 11 miles
Surface: Dirt, gravel
Location: Everglades National Park (See map )

Additional Resources: Everglades National Park - Historic Roads

Canal/Levee Trails - Outside the National Park

Area Canal Trails - Throughout surrounding Preserve and Wildlife Management Areas, and now into major metropolitan areas - the levees along most canals can now be biked - on dirt and gravel - fat tires are recommended. The canals intersect and cross, so rides can seem limitless. With long distances, no shade, and no facilities, be prepared with water, sunscreen, and eats. A spare tube and repair kit is a good idea.


The Biscayne-Everglades Greenway is a 45 mile bike route (mostly along canals) from Biscayne National Park to Everglades National Park at Coe Visitor Center. Partially complete, much is still in development. The sections at both east and west ends are on existing canal trails. A section through Homestead will incorporate an on-road section. We visited the canal at Biscayne National Park. An inviting short section here and over a bridge is paved, then dirt and gravel. There's a grassy area across the road used for parking, or park at the National Park and bike over. Marked as Bike Route 14, going west it follows the North Canal Path to Homestead. Going north it follows L31E to C103-Mowry Trail where it turns west to Homestead.

Note: Intersecting canals levees in this area offer more biking. Continue north 7 miles along L31E to Coconut Palm Drive to connect to the paved Biscayne and Black Creek Trails.

Mileage: Varies
Surface: Dirt, gravel, short sections paved
Location: Miami-Dade County (See map )

Additional Resources: Miami-Dade County-Biscayne-Everglades Greenway


Southern Glades Trail - The trail starts along SR 9336, outside Everglades National Park (south entrance), about 1 mile east of the Coe Visitor Center. From the small parking area, it runs south and east 13 miles along C111 canal through a section of National Park lands, then the Southern Glades Wildlife and Environmental Area to Manatee Bay. Access is limited to the two end points. Rough surface means generally slower biking (for most), so if going for any distance, a good rule is to bring more the water than you think you'll need. Wildlife along the canal include fish, alligators, turtles, snakes, hawks and other birds. Note: On the opposite side (north) of SR 9336, the path along the levee becomes the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway (see above).

Mileage: 13 miles (more connecting)
Surface: Limestone, gravel
Location: Miami-Dade County (See map )

Additional Resources: Miami-Dade, Southern Glades Trail Brochure

Trailhead at SR 9336

At the northern end at SR 9336 is a parking area on the east side of the canal, cross over to the west side for the trail.

Trailhead at US 1

The trailhead off US 1 near the southern end is across the canal from the trail - ride on US1 across the bridge to a ramp (no-entry signs say for "official use only") and then around a gate to reach the trail.


C30-31 Canal Trail along SR997 and US41 - Along SR 997 (Krome Avenue) and US 41 (Tamiami Trail), near the Miccosukee Resort and Casino. A truck stop where the roads intersect provides food and facilities. The trail runs 20+ miles. Fishing, hiking and airboating are also popular along the levees.


L67 Canal Trail - From Everglades Holiday Park, the trail runs south along the canal to Shark Valley, 30+ miles. The section near popular Everglades Holiday Park is not exactly tranquil, however, with the airboats coming and going. Bicycle rentals offered. Parking, food, and restrooms are a bonus, in addition to airboat rides are animal shows and the gator pit (this is home of the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue).

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