Shark Valley … Hike, Bike, Kayak Wild Miami … (part 3 of a 4 part series)
By guest contributor, Michael Restivo … MiamiRealEstateCafe.com blogsite: MIAMI & MIAMI REAL ESTATE
A mere thirty minute drive from the Florida International University campus is the lush paved trail known as Shark Valley. Shark Valley is a 15 mile loop along the tip of the Everglades where alligators roam free along the waterways and nature is as up close and personal as ever.
The loop is accessible in three ways. By bicycle, by tram, or by foot. Any bicycle is welcomed and bike rentals run at $8.00 an hour. Halfway up the loop is a watchtower that when climbed provides an awe inspiring vista across the vast swamps. At the edge of the watchtower are several hiking trails that go to the border of the wild everglades.
Animals are in abundance here. The seven mile ride to the watchtower runs parallel to a natural canal where gators are ever-present. The alligators are generally docile and there have been no reported attacks in the valley, yet, they are continuously crossing the road, and the bikes are generally whisking by a mere three feet or less from a ten foot animal.
Other than the gator, great blue herons, egrets, falcons, and storks line and nest in the trees.
One of the pleasures of Shark Valley is riding out in the early morning before the large crowds arrive and having an empty road while watching the daily movement of life in a part of South Florida that is so close and yet so removed from anything else.