a day trip adventure. shark valley.
my friends and i have been on more of a nature kick then usual these past few weekends. exploring the florida wilderness. a few weekends ago, we hopped in the car, and drove out west to shark valley (part of everglades national park). we've always wanted to bike the 15 mile trail, and never really got around to it (i'm blaming it on the fact that i don't enjoy 15 mile bike rides in 100 degree heat/humidity..) 70 degrees, slightly overcast day..im in.
we got there around noon, and rented bikes ($7.50/hour) and began the 15 mile trail. so many european and american tourists, and it felt like we were the only locals there. (please stop asking me environmental questions..all i know is yes, that is an alligator and that bird is pretty!!) along the bike trail are walking paths that take about 15-20 minutes..each trail seemed to be a different ecological environment inside a big ecological environment, and safe! (biggest fear: alligator, florida panther, or a 90 foot boa constrictor walking/running/sliding along trail, chasing me, eating me, etc.)
the bike ride is easy (just need endurance for 15 miles..) and a nice reminder of how lucky we are to have the everglades in our backyard! we saw so many alligators, i lost count. they hang out on the edge of the bike path, which at first is hella scary, and then you realize they are pretty fat and lazy, and aren't in the mood to attack humans (unless provoked?) there are also many different types of birds (not avid bird watcher, forgive me) and an observation tower half way through the ride. no food stops or water fountains along the way (but i remember seeing bathrooms at the observation tower).
entrance to the park is $10/car and is valid for 7 days. if you have your own bike, you can bring that for free or rent theirs for $7.50/hour. i would suggest bringing: water, FOOD (we brought gummi bears...how did i think this would last me through a 15 mile bike ride...unsure), sunblock, hat, bug spray and a camera! i would also suggest to wear comfortable underwear (thongs, #2 item of unsuccessful park ideas) or for the unadventurous, they offer two hour tram tours..you can sit, and they will stroll you along the way. it's probably very educational and im going to assume that they properly name all the birds and creatures we saw (maybe even the latinus namus)
36000 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33194
Miami, FL 33194