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Best Family Hikes in the Everglades

by Barbara Rogers

Sep 12, 2023

© Justin A Lyden | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Exploring Everglades National Park can be the highlight of your family’s travels through Florida, and for active families, hiking is a good way to get close to this rare and endangered environment.


A sanctuary for more than 20 rare and threatened species, the landscape is a mix of mangrove swamps, pine forests, grasslands, cypress forests, wetlands and tropical hardwoods. Because the terrain is quite flat, even families with young children and toddlers can find trails to hike and get close to this exotic natural world.


Hikes with Young Children and Toddlers

Bobcat Boardwalk Trail: Beginning behind the Shark Valley Visitor Center, this 0.4-mile boardwalk is an easy one for pushing strollers.


Mahogany Hammock Trail: The same length and also a boardwalk, this trail from the Ernest Coe Visitor Center crosses a prairie to a hammock where mahogany and other tropical hardwoods grow.


Good for All Ages

Gumbo Limbo Trail: Near the Royal Palm Visitor Center, this half-mile trail is shaded by huge trees.


Anhinga Trail: Also beginning at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, this easy 0.8-mile loop is a good place to see wildlife, including alligators, turtles and Anhinga birds. Without trees for shade, you’ll want to hike this trail when the sun is not at its hottest.


Good for Teens

Shark Valley Tram Road: You’re almost certain to see alligators on this 15-mile paved loop trail near the Shark Valley Visitor Center. There’s no shade, so wear a wide-brimmed hat and bring water.


Long Pine Key Trail: For a shaded midday hike, this 6.1-mile trail traverses the park’s largest strand of native pines. In all, this trail system includes more than 22 miles of connecting trails, so pick up a map to choose your route.


Old Ingraham Highway Trail: Running alongside a canal, this trail is a prime place to see alligators, but it’s a 10-mile hike to the end and back. Fortunately, you don’t have to go very far to find alligators, so if you’re not up for 10 miles, you can hike as far as you like and turn back.



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