Explore the Everglades: Shark Valley

What’s the coolest way to explore a national park?

To bicycle through it, of course!

I visited the Everglades in early January and I don’t think the weather could have been any nicer. After touring the park on foot for a while I decided to switch it up and pay to rent a bike. Checking-in at the Shark Valley Visitor Center (where they got the name I have no idea), I grabbed my gear and set off on an adventure. The ride was 15 miles round trip and followed a flat, concrete path – which was great because I don’t think I could conquer hills in flip flops:) Shrubland vegetation lined the path of this 1.5 million acre park and appeared to expand infinitely in every direction. With my hopes set on spying some wildlife we peddled forth.

It did not take long to spot the first alligator, peering out from under the turbid channel that paralleled the path. After that I saw what seemed like an endless amount of gators. I even had to weave around many sleeping on the bike trail. It was a bit surreal being so close to such large, cage-free, predatory animals. They seemed to not even notice the potential for lunch (me) peddling a few feet away.

A lookout tower marks the end of the bike trail and at the top there is a pretty spectacular vantage point for visitors to attempt to take in the sheer expansiveness of the park. View herons hunting, turtles sunning, and grasshoppers hopping in one awe-inspiring ecosystem. If you get a chance and want a neat way to explore the largest tropical wilderness in the U.S., I highly recommend biking through Everglades National Park.

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This photo reminds me of the Lion King’s “Everything the Light Touches….”

lk

4 comments

  1. Ha! Every time I walk out onto my deck when the sun is setting, I say to myself, “everything the light touches is my kingdom.” Every. Single. Time.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    1. I hope you do it in your best James Earl Jones voice:)

  2. Wow. You were very close to that gator!! So brave!!!

    1. I felt a little safer being on the bike, but I definitely had some anxiety for those walking:)

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