"Homestead Canal" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Flamingo Canoe and Hiking Trails

brochure Flamingo Canoe and Hiking Trails
Everglades National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Everglades National Park Flamingo Canoe Trails Caution: Tides and winds can significantly affect your canoe trip. Do not overestimate your abilities. 1 Nine Mile Pond 5.2 mile loop This scenic trail passes through shallow grassy marsh with scattered mangrove islands. Watch for alligators, wading birds, and an occasional endangered snail kite. The trail is marked with numbered white poles. A more detailed trail map is available. Trail may be impassable due to low water levels near the end of the dry season. Motors prohibited. 2 Noble Hammock 2 mile loop The sharp turns and narrow passageways through this mangrove-lined trail require good maneuvering skills. Enjoy a “crash” course. Check for low water levels during the dry season. A calm trail on a windy day. Motors prohibited. 3 Hells Bay 3.0 miles to Lard Can 3.5 miles to Pearl Bay Chickee 5.5 miles to Hells Bay Chickee “Hell to get into and Hell to get out of,” or so the old timers claimed. This sheltered route weaves through mangrove creeks and ponds to a series of small bays beyond Lard Can. The trail is marked with more than 160 poles. A more detailed trail map is available. Motors are prohibited from the trailhead to Lard Can. A wilderness permit is required for overnight camping. 4 Florida Bay Distance varies Opportunities for fun abound! Watch mullet jump and birds feed (particularly at Snake Bight), do some fishing, or just enjoy the scenic bay. Explore Bradley Key (during daylight hours only), the only nearby key open to landing. The open waters of Florida Bay are relatively mosquito-free, even in summer. Not recommended on windy days due to open, rough waters. 5 Bear Lake Canoe Trail Check Ranger Station for Conditions! 1.6 miles to Bear Lake 11.5 miles one way to/from Cape Sable This historic canal is surrounded by tropical trees, bromeliads and orchids. Check trail conditions first as this trail is often impassable due to shallow water. Trail begins at Bear Lake Trailhead. 6 Mud Lake Loop 7 miles round trip from Coot Bay Pond Venture inland through the mangroves on this trail connecting the Buttonwood Canal, Coot Bay, Mud Lake, and Bear Lake. Birding can be good at Mud Lake. Accessible from the Bear Lake Trailhead into the Buttonwood Canal or Coot Bay Pond. Motors are prohibited on Mud Lake and Bear Lake. Check the Visitor Center for current status of this trail. 7 West Lake 7.7 miles one way to Alligator Creek Paddle through a series of large open lakes connected by narrow creeks lined with mangroves. Look for alligators and crocodiles. West Lake is closed to vessels with motors greater than 6 h.p. Motors are prohibited from the east end of West Lake through Alligator Creek. Not recommended on windy days due to open, rough waters. A wilderness permit is required for overnight camping. Paddlers: you may encounter motorboats in some areas. If you are in a narrow river or pass, and a boat approaches, pull as far to the side as possible, point the bow of your canoe or kayak into the boat’s wake, and stop paddling until the boat passes. Everglades National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Everglades National Park Flamingo Hiking Trails Mosquitoes Be well prepared for mosquitoes on all trails in the Flamingo area. Long pants, closed shoes, and mosquito repellent are recommended. Summer conditions Due to high mosquito levels and wet and muddy conditions most of the trails listed below are not suitable for hiking in summer. 1 Snake Bight 1.8 miles one way Don’t let the name fool you! In this play on words, a “bight” is actually a bay (Snake Bight) within a bay (Florida Bay). Enter another world as you travel through a tropical hardwood hammock with dozens of tropical tree species. Bird watching may be good from the boardwalk at the end of the trail if you plan your hike or bike ride to arrive near high tide (tide charts available at the visitor center). 2 Rowdy Bend 2.6 mile one way Explore an overgrown old road bed through shady buttonwoods and open coastal prairie. This is an opportunity for good woodland bird watching. Combine this trail with the Main Park Road (use caution!) and the Snake Bight Trail for a 12.6 mile round-trip bike ride from the Flamingo Visitor Center. 3 Christian Point 1.8 miles one way Wander a rustic path through a wide diversity of habitats. The trail begins in dense mangroves and buttonwoods full of bromeliads. Next, investigate the unusual, salt-loving vegetation of open coastal prairie. Dead buttonwood snags punctuate these expanses. Trail ends along the shore of Snake Bight, best viewed near low tide for birds. 4 Bear Lake Trail: 1.6 miles one way Road: 2 miles one way Journey through a dense hardwood hammock mixed with mangroves. The trail follows the old Homestead Canal, built in 1922, and can be an excellent area for woodland birds. The trail is home to dozens of Caribbean tree species. Bike, drive, or walk to the end of Bear Lake Road to begin this trail, which ends at Bear Lake. 5 Eco Pond 1/2 mile loop This easy stroll around a former water treatment pond provides opportunities to see wading birds, shorebirds, and woodland birds, including the beautiful wintering Painted Bunting. 6 Guy Bradley Trail .5 miles to campground Look for a variety of birds and butterflies as you walk along the shore of Florida Bay. Old pier pilings are a reminder that Flamingo was once a small fishing village. The trail was named for Audubon warden Guy Bradley, murdered in 1905 by plume hunters while trying to protect a bird rookery in Florida Bay. This is a scenic shortcut between the campground area and the visitor center and may have lower insect levels in summer than other trails. 7 Bayshore Loop 2 mile loop Meander along the shore of Florida Bay, watching for remnants of an outpost fishing village. Begin at the Coastal Prairie trailhead at the back of Loop “C” in the campground. Veer left at the trail junction to the bay. 7 Coastal Prairie 7 miles one way Step back in time as you walk this old road once used by cotton pickers and fisherman. Open prairies of succulent coastal plants dotted with shady buttonwoods surround you as you journey towards the shore of Florida Bay. Begin at the end of Loop “C” in the campground. A backcountry permit is required for camping at Clubhouse Beach. Bicycles permitted, but always be cautious for hikers on these sometimes winding trails. 6/13

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