Amazing Everglades Hikes Perfect For Any Visit

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Looking for the best Everglades hikes?

Everglades National Park isn’t known for it’s hiking, it’s primarily a paddling park, but today I’m here to show off all the Everglades hikes you could hope for.

Most Everglades hikes are on the shorter side, typically under a mile round-trip, but there are a few over that to choose from as well.

The only downside is that most of the longer Everglades hikes are unmaintained and, if not just wet or muddy, entirely impassable.

Not all unmaintained trails are impassable but most of your hiking options will be the shorter trails and boardwalks.

I haven’t done enough of these, just three or four, but will be doing as many as possible this winter (insert giant side eyeball emoji here).

National Park Goodies

alligator at Shark Valley everglades national park florida

Everglades Hikes: The Short List

Don’t have time for the full list of Everglades hikes? Just want to know my top picks? Look no further! Or do because they’re all great.

  • Anhinga Boardwalk
  • Bear Lake Trail
  • Pinelands Trail

Map of Everglades hikes

Everglades Hikes: The Full List

Now we have the full list of hikes in Everglades National Park! Most of the trails in the Everglades are short interpretive trails and boardwalks but there are a few that are a little longer.

anhinga trail everglades national park

Anhinga Boardwalk

I think one of the best Everglades hikes is the Anhinga boardwalk. This is an easy, but busy, hike with some of the best wildlife viewing in the park.

This hike is just 0.8 miles round-trip and is a combination or boardwalk and paved trail. We did this twice and loved it!

There is a bathroom and Royal Palm visitor center at the parking area/trailhead. The Gumbo Limbo Trail is also here.

See the Anhinga Trail here

everglades national park

Gumbo Limbo Trail

This is a 0.4 mile round-trip paved trail through a hammock of gumbo limbo and royal palm trees with lots of ferns and air plants.

This is easy to do at the same time as the Anhinga Trail and both shouldn’t take more than an hour, with stopping.

See the Gumbo Limbo Trail here

bird surrounded by birds while eating a snake at Shark Valley everglades national park florida

Pinelands Trail

About seven miles from the park entrance is the 0.4 mile Pineland Trail which takes you through a pine forest with palmettos and wildflowers.

It’s an easy hike with some shade and tree snails. Beware the likelihood of bees at hut at the beginning of the trail though.

See the Pineland Trail here

boardwalk everglades national park

Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail

We did the 0.16 mile Pahayokee boardwalk when we went and it was good, not super thrilling but easy and a very quick stop.

The boardwalk takes you to an overlook platform for never-ending views of the river of grass that is the Everglades.

See Pahayokee boardwalk here

boardwalk everglades national park

Mahogany Hammock Trail

The Mahogany Hammock Trail is a 0.5 mile boardwalk winding through a dense hardwood hammock about 20 miles from the park entrance.

It’s a great hike to see a lot of Florida vegetation including gumbo limbo trees, air plants, palms, and the largest living mahogany tree in the US!

See the Mahogany Hammock Trail here

everglades national park

West Lake Trail

The West Lake Trail is another 0.5 mile boardwalk but this one takes you through a mangrove forest to the edge of West Lake.

Along the way you’ll see black, white, and red mangroves as well as buttonwood trees. The boardwalk is mostly in the trees with the end loop portion of it over the lake.

See West Lake Boardwalk here

baby gator at Shark Valley everglades national park florida

Snake Bight Trail*

This trail is open but not maintained, traverse at your own risk.

The Snake Bight Trail isn’t named after actual snake bites, but a bight, which is a bay in a bay! Snake Bight withing Florida Bay, in this case.

This is a 3.2 mile round-trip hike with a small boardwalk section at the end. The trail winds (and by winds I mean is a straight line) through a tropical hardwood hammock and offers great bird watching from the boardwalk around high tide.

See Snake Bight Trail here

Anhinga everglades national park

Rowdy Bend Trail*

This trail is open but not maintained, traverse at your own risk.

We have another longer but unmaintained trail: the 5.2 mile round-trip Rowdy Bend Trail. It’s also great for biking and can be combined into a 12.6 mile loop with careful biking on the main park road.

The trail is an overgrown road that is great for woodland bird watching. It can be very muddy and partially underwater with lots of bugs.

I would likely avoid this one unless you want a possibly hardcore swamp hike.

See Rowdy Bend Trail here

Christian Point Trail*

This trail is open but not maintained, traverse at your own risk.

This is a 3.6 mile round-trip unmaintained Everglades hike that passes through a wide variety of landscapes including mangroves, coastal prairie, and Shark Bight shore.

This seems to be very unmaintained and may even be entirely impassable not too far in. Expect a good amount of mud and/or water and bugs.

See Christian Point Trail here

baby alligator Everglades National Park

Bear Lake Trail*

The Bear Lake Trail follows the old Homestead Canal and is 3.2 miles round-trip. It’s another great woodland birding area and home to more than 50 tree species!

This is a dense hardwood hammock with mangroves and seems to be passable and dry but a bit buggy if you spend a lot of time stopped.

The Bear Lake Road is two miles north of the Flamingo visitor center and very pot-holey. No RVs are allowed on the road.

It is typically closed from June to November due to water. The trailhead is a bit over a mile down Bear Lake Road.

This trail is open but not maintained, traverse at your own risk.

See Bear Lake Trail here

everglades national park

Eco Pond Trail

This is a 0.5 mile loop trail around Eco Pond with an observation deck great for bird watching on the right past the Flamingo visitor center.

Aside from birds you can also see alligators, turtles, and other wildlife. Most of the trail is tree-lined and you can really only see the pond from the trailhead and platform.

See Eco Pond Trail here

turtle at Shark Valley everglades national park florida

Guy Bradley Trail

This is a two mile round-trip trail along the shore of the Florida Bay and has reminders of the former village of Flamingo.

It was named after an Audubon warden who was killed while protecting a bird rookery in Florida Bay in 1905.

It’s paved and great for viewing wildlife but you’ll have to face down the bugs to enjoy the critters.

See Guy Bradley Trail here

Shark Valley everglades national park florida

Bayshore Trail


If this trail was open, it would be two miles round-trip along the shore of Florida Bay. It starts at the back of loop C of the Flamingo Campground and goes to the left at the trail junction.

It’s very buggy and mostly sunny with thick vegetation. Pants are recommended. It can be muddy and have water over the trail.

See Bayshore Trail here

alligator tail and foot at Shark Valley everglades national park florida

Coastal Prairie Trail*

This trail is open but not maintained, traverse at your own risk.

This is a long Everglades hike at 7.5 miles one way, so 15 miles round-trip along an old road once used by cotton pickers and fishermen. (AllTrails says it’s 12.4 miles total, the first distance is from NPS.)

You can camp at the end of the trail at Clubhouse Beach but a backcountry camping permit is required for that, so come prepared.

The trail may be muddy or flooded and likely very buggy. There is little to no shade to be sure too bring lots of water.

See Coastal Prairie Trail here

colorful bird everglades national park

Long Pine Key Trail

This is a solid Everglades hike coming in at 11.8 miles round-trip and is also great for biking through shrubby pineland forest and slash pines.

Plan to see birds, bugs, fish, and reptiles along the dry, exposed limestone trail and Pine Glades Lake.

See Long Pine Key Trail here

alligator everglades national park

Three-in-One Trail

This is a 0.8 mile loop by the Long Pine Key Campground. You’ll see pine rockland, hardwood hammock, and sawgrass prairie habitats.

The trail is rooty and can be muddy and buggy but rewards you with a nice lake view where you can continue your hike if you want.

See the Three-in-One Trail here

alligator everglades national park

Shark Valley Tram Trail

The Shark Valley Tram Trail is a 15-mile paved tram/bike/walking trail. Most people take tram tours or bike the trail but you can hike it if you prefer.

Just keep in mind there is literally no shade here and I got fried in the 3-4 hours we were out there biking it.

This is a great place for wildlife viewing and has great views from the observation tower, the highest point in the park you can reach by foot!

See the Shark Valley Tram Trail here

Shark Valley observation tower everglades national park florida

Otter Cave Hammock (Shark Valley)

This is a 0.25 mile trail that connects the Shark Valley Tram Trail back to the Shark Valley Tram Trail. It starts about 0.5 miles down the tram road.

It’s a rough limestone trail through tropical hardwood forest with small footbridges over a stream. It may be flooded at times. It was when we were here.

See Otter Cave Hammock Trail here

bird eating snake at Shark Valley everglades national park florida

Bobcat Boardwalk (Shark Valley)

This is a one mile round-trip loop with boardwalk behind the Shark Valley visitor center. You’ll see sawgrass slough and tropical hardwood forest.

It’s a nice easy walk with the chance of seeing some wildlife along the way. We didn’t do this as we were tired and fried by the time we got back.

See the Bobcat Boardwalk here

gator everglades national park

Sandfly Island Trail (Gulf Coast)

There is only one Everglades hike in the Gulf Coast area of the park, the Sandfly Island Trail, and it’s only accessible by canoe/kayak or boat 1.5 miles from the Gulf Coast visitor center.

It is a 0.9 mile trail and it is not paved. The island is a mangrove paradise with signs of it’s former human inhabitants like a concrete cistern and shell mounds from Calusa Indians.

gator everglades national park

*Everglades Hikes: Passable but not maintained*

The following trails in Everglades National Park are open but not maintained due to the presence of federally endangered plant species. They are marked with * above.

  • Snake Bight
  • Coastal Prairie
  • Rowdy Bend
  • Christian Point
  • Bear Lake
plants in water at Shark Valley everglades national park florida

Are pets allowed on Everglades hikes?

Pets are not allowed on any hiking trails in Everglades National Park, including Shark Valley.

The only places they are allowed, on a six foot leash, include roadways open to public vehicle traffic, roadside campground and picnic areas, maintained grounds surrounding public facilities and residential areas, and private boats.

Best time to hike in the Everglades

December to March is the best time for hiking in the Everglades with November and April pushing it. Anything between that, I would avoid.

everglades national park birds

What to bring hiking in Everglades National Park

Long sleeve shirt – A long sleeve shirt will help protect you from mosquitos and the sun.

Dry bag – This is a must if you’re kayaking or canoeing.  You’ll want to keep your phone and camera dry while you’re on the water.  Here is a set with three different sizes.

Pants – If you’re walking through water, you’ll want to wear pants so your legs don’t get cut up by the sawgrass.

Bug spray – You’ll want to bring this no matter when you visit, but especially if you want to go in the summer.  I like the Ben’s bug spray as well as the Off! Deep Woods.

Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side.  They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  Even if it’s not hot you need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch a lot AND it’s reef safe! If you’re sensitive to fragrance though, it’s not a good choice. I also like the same one but specifically for your face.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, or a visor.  A baseball hat should be fine but I like my giant sun hat, too.

Sunglasses – This is a must no matter where you are.

Headlamp – I tend to carry my headlamp around all the time when we’re hiking, just in case. 

alligator teeth everglades national park

Where to stay near Everglades National Park

Florida City – Quality Inn

We stayed at the Quality Inn when we visited the Everglades and while it’s not fancy, it wasn’t bad and I’d stay there again because of it’s procimity to the park.

Breakfast is included and they have a pool (heated, in winter I assume) and has laundry available.

Book the Quality Inn here!

Homestead – Courtyard by Marriott

If you want somewhere a little nicer than the Quality Inn above but not as fancy as below, this is a great option and still close to the park entrance.

They have a pool, restaurant, and bar, plus breakfast at an extra charge. Most rooms have a small seating area.

Book the Courtyard here!

Key Largo – Largo Resort

A little under an hour from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center is the Largo Resort. This is in Key Largo and is a much nicer option than the first two.

They have a private beach area, a pool, and a garden plus bike rentals, canoeing, fishing, and beach chairs. It’s a great choice if you want some beach time, too.

Book the Largo Resort here!

Miami – The Elser Hotel

This is a nicer option a bit further away than Florida City and Homestead (an hour). The Elser Hotel right in Miami with a terrace, pool, and private parking.

Rooms have a seating area, kitchen, and dining area with stunning city views and a balcony. They also have a restaurant on site.

Book the Elser Hotel here!

Final thoughts on Everglades hikes

There you have it, a full guide to hiking in Everglades National Park! It may not be the best park for hiking but it can still be enjoyed on foot. That said, if you have a chance to paddle here in addition to hiking, definitely do it.

gator everglades national park

Other posts you may like

Is Big Cypress Or Everglades Better?

Is Anhinga Trail or Shark Valley better?

Are There Hotels In Everglades National Park?

Biking Shark Valley in Everglades

Best Things To Do In The Everglades Other Than Hiking

Plan an Everglades National Park Vacation

Have you been to Everglades National Park? What was your favorite hike there?

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