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Oleta River State Park
Latest update: December 2022
Located on upper Biscayne Bay in the middle of the vast Miami metropolitan area, Oleta River State Park is a wonderful getaway, offering a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Florida's largest urban Park, at just over a thousand acres in size, is well known for its 15 miles of off-road, "mountain biking" trails, but it also includes a 3-mile paved bike trail that circles the park, a great way to explore all sides of this natural oasis. (Map link and photos below.)
Oleta River State Park Biking
Location: North Miami
End Points: Entrance along NW 163rd St. at NE 34th Ave.
Mileage: 3 miles paved, 15 miles off-road mountain biking trails
Surface: Asphalt and dirt
Nearby points of interest: The Ancient Spanish Monastery and Church of St. Bernard De Clairvaux, Greynolds Park, Miami and Miami Beach
BG Oleta River Outdoor Center (on-site)
Support and Advocacy:
Friends of Oleta River State Park
Bike rentals (along with kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals) are available from the Park concessionaire. Only 30 minutes from downtown Miami, it's best to visit on weekdays. Expect crowds on weekends and plan to arrive early - when the park reaches capacity, it will close and not reopen until the following day. Note: The trails may be closed from time to time due to weather or maintenance, check the Park website (link below) for current information. Bring sunscreen and bug repellant. Bike helmets are encouraged, and are required on off-road trails and for all riders 16 and under.
While the State Park is best known for its mountain biking trails, we mostly stuck to the paved paths. Shared with in-line skaters, walkers and joggers, 3 miles of paved trails circle the park and provide access to all its amenities. From the Outdoor Center (in about the middle of the park), the trail circles the large parking lot. On the west side are the paddling rentals and launches; at parking area 5, look for the trail branching off past the paddling launch to the beach, playground, and fishing pier. The trail on the east side links to scenic picnic areas along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Off-the-road biking includes 15 miles of trails from novice to advanced. This is considered the best mountain biking in southern Florida. Hikers may also use the mountain bike trails, but watch for the bikers speeding past.
The area around the river was first inhabited by Tequesta Indians aroung 500 BC. Called Big Snake Creek in the 1800's, it became more settled in the 1890's including the establishment of pineapple and vegetable farms. The river was renamed Oleta River by developers in 1922. The land was acquired by the State of Florida in 1980 and the State Park established in 1986.
Today, Oleta River State Park has parking, restrooms, picnicking, playground, and a butterfly garden. Snacks and refreshments are available at the Outdoor Center, and also at Blue Marlin Fish House (located about one mile west along 163rd St. by road, or from within the Park by paddling). In addition to bicycling, activities include walking, jogging, and rollerblading, swimming at the white sand beach, snorkeling, and fishing. Paddling is a popular activity with miles of waterways and mangrove tunnels to explore (see paddling link, below). A primitive group camping area is available, as well as 14 primitive cabins (air conditioned, but no kitchens or bathrooms - restrooms and bathhouse are nearby).
Hollywood Beach Broadwalk
Snake Creek Trail
Southeast FL Region - More trails plus Regional Overview map
Oleta River State Park at www.PaddleFlorida.net
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