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by Clyde Powell
West Area Parks Everglades National Park
Shark Valley Trails
Shark Valley Trails
If you are driving across the Tamiami Trail
U.S.41a stop by Shark Valley is nice.
is $8.00 . You will find two small trails. Most people bike
the 15 mile trip takes about 2 1/2 hours depending on how much you
stop along the way. The tram leaves every hour on the hour. Cost
$11.00 adults $6.50 kids and is well worth it.
Click the link
on the left to see some pictures and find out more.
This area of the park is making news today. The area was owned by
an oil company that was looking for oil and they found it. Unfortunately
for them it was high in sulfur and was useless to them for at the time they
could not separate it. Just this month May 2002 the oil rights were sold so
they can start drilling. Today we can separate the sulfur out of the oil.
|Bobcat Boardwalk |
0.5 miles (400 meters). Behind the Shark Valley Visitor Center.
This self-guiding boardwalk trail meanders through the sawgrass slough and
tropical hardwood forests. Wheelchair accessible. Not far from
the Visitors Center.
A quick little trip if you just missed the last tram and have to wait.
Otter Cave Hammock Trail
0.25 miles (200 meters). At Shark Valley, 0.5 miles (400 meters)
walk from the Shark Valley Visitor Center on the tram road. A rough, limestone
trail through a lush, tropical hardwood forest. Often flooded during the
summer; check at the Visitor Center for current conditions. Just a little bit
out from the visitor center This one I did after the tram ride around the
A walk along the road gives you a great chance to see just how much life
is in this river of grass on this visit the rains had just started for the
of 2002. Even in this small pool of water it was teaming with little fish and
snails. The snails you see here are of some concern now. They feed on the
bottom but breath air. So every once in a while they float to the surface
for a breath of air. You will notice lots of empty snail shells around. These
are the main food supply for the snail kites. The empty shells are leftovers.
Now that the decision has finally been made to give the everglades the
water it once got. These snails lay their eggs just above the high water line
Raise that just a few inches and you will loss a generation or more of these
snails. Plus the food supply of the already endangered bird the snail kite.
15 miles (24 km) round trip. This flat, paved road is used for tram
rides, bicycling, and walking. Along the road you may see alligators, herons,
egrets, deer, turtles, and snail kites . An observation tower at the half-way
point provides panoramic views. Bicycles may be rented from the Shark Valley
Tram Tour company. Bicycling the tram road is an excellent way to see the
Everglades! Note that groups of 20 bicyclists or more require a Special Use
If you are driving to Key West
either from home or after
flying into Miami this is a must side trip.
Clyde's Key West Parks