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Old Cutler Trail (Route #1) is an interesting bike trail along historic Old Cutler Road featuring two personalities. The southern section through Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay is more open and unshaded through residential and commercial areas, with some parks and historic venues. The northern trail section from Pinecrest Gardens is the more pleasant recreational ride through Coral Gables with its beautiful residential neighborhoods and historic mansions. The trail connects to the Commodore Trail, the Black Creek Trail (via a connector along SW 216th St.) and the Biscayne Trail - a 37 mile route all by bike! Note: some other sites list the trail as 11 miles, ending at SW 87th St., but Route #1 now continues to SW 224th St. (Map link and photos below.)
Map link... Old Cutler Trail
Location: Miami-Dade County (Coral Gables, Cutler Bay)
End Points: SW 224th St. to Cocoplum Circle; east-west extension at SW 216th St.
Mileage: 13.5 miles
Nearby points of interest: Matheson Hammock Park, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, Pinecrest Gardens, Deering Estate
Andante Bike Shop (sales, service)
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This section runs through Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay, with residential and commercial areas. Limited shade. A link to the Black Creek Trail is via a connector running west along SW 216th St., and to the Biscayne Trail at SW 87th St. At Palmetto Bay, it passes the Thalatta Estate (a historic home now a conservation and events venue), and Deering Point (a park with a kayak launch and location of Snowden's Dam). The historic Deering Estate (1920's home of industrialist Charles Deering) has art and history exhibits, picnicking, special events, and eco-tours by foot or boat. Parking is available at Deering Point and Deering Estate.
At SW 57th Street, the trail becomes a more pleasant ride as it splits from Old Cutler Road and runs north to Pinecrest Gardens, former home to Parrot Jungle and now a "cultural arts park" featuring a botanical garden. A historic building along the trail is the original 1936 entrance house to Parrot Jungle. Crossing SW 57th Street, the trail continues along a scenic section incorporating an existing pathway at Red Road Linear Park, which runs along a canal. A bridge crosses the canal and the trail becomes a shared roadway along Snapper Creek Road through a gated community (very little traffic). Exiting at the gatehouse, the trail re-joins Old Cutler Road.
Finally, the most pleasant section of the trail passing historic Coral Gables mansions, and draped by huge banyan trees. The trail narrows in sections to skirt the trees, and can be rough where the tree roots break the pavement, but no mind as it's just so lovely! Along the trail is access to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and to Matheson Hammock Park - both worthwhile stops. A trail parking lot is located across from the north entrance to Fairchild Botanic Garden, or there are several lots at Matheson Hammock Park. The trail runs through Matheson Hammock Park for a short distance, as well. Ending at Cocoplum Circle is some parking, and the start of the Commodore Trail.
Historic footnote: Old Cutler Road originated as a wilderness path in 1883, was widened to a wagon trail and later declared a public road in 1895. It was named a State Historic Highway in 1974.
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