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  • MINIMUM PARTICIPANTS: 2
  • MAX. PARTICIPANTS: 50
  • COST: contact us.
  • DURATION: 3 to 6 hours based on the trail choice
  • REQUIREMENTS: bring water and insect repellent- Wear hat , sunglasses and a good pair of shoes!
  • TRANSFER TIME: 1 hour to 1hour and an half from any Miami Beach or downtown hotels.

Description

Our Favorite Trail : 

Everglades National Park – Coastal Prairie Trail

Coastal Prairie

Ready for a hard-core Florida wilderness challenge? The rangers at the Flamingo Visitor Center don’t recommend you hike this trail, but they’ll still issue you a backcountry permit for camping if you insist.

Consider it a survivalist’s destination—you’ll battle mosquitoes, unrelenting sun, and dreadfully deep and stick marl mud for the prize of camping along remote Clubhouse Beach.

Resources

50 Hikes in South Florida South Florida: An Explorer's Guide Hiker's Guide to the Sunshine State Exploring Florida's Botanical Wonders Florida Florida's Gardens Virtual Travel Tour: Main Park Road, Everglades National Park


Overview

Location: Everglades National Park, Flamingo
Length: 5.6 miles (11.2 mile round-trip)
Lat-Long: 25.136883, -80.948650
Type: linear
Fees / Permits: none
Difficulty: extreme
Bug factor: extreme
Restroom: no

The environment the trail traverses is some of the most hostile in the state: the marl prairie is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, the footing can become impassably muddy, and the sun can beat unconditioned hikers into exhaustion. Smart hikers will wear a hat, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt and have bug repellent and a head net within easy reach.

More about Everglades National Park

Directions

From the Flamingo Visitor Center, drive west on Main Park Road for 1 mile to the Flamingo Campground. Proceed past the check-in station to C Loop. The Coastal Prairie Trail begins at a trailhead in the very back of the C loop, and is also used to access the Bayshore Loop.

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Hike Details

When  asked about hiking here,  ranger suggested to take the easy way out and rent a kayak to paddle out to the campsite. The Bayshore Loop provides enough of a taste to let you know what the habitats are like. But if you still insist on hiking this one, read on. This is the most southerly trail on the United States mainland. It actually heads west, paralleling the coast of Florida Bay toward Cape Sable, in a mixture of buttonwood forest and open marl prairie, to end at Clubhouse Beach on Florida Bay. Clubhouse Beach is a designated backcountry campsite. However, this trail can also be hiked there and back in a very long day.

Leave the campground on an old road heading west beneath a canopy of buttonwood and the exotic Brazilian pepper. This old road is the legacy of a U.S. Department of Agriculture project to remove wild cotton from South Florida. Portions of the Coastal Prairie Trail follow this old road.

Come to a trail junction at 0.2 mile. The Bayshore Loop leads left toward Florida Bay. The Coastal Prairie Trail leads right. Passing the second intersection with the Bayshore Loop, the trail veers right and opens onto a coastal prairie. This clear area is vegetated with saltwort and occasional islands of buttonwood. These prairies are formed by the deposition of mud from Florida Bay that is spread inland during violent hurricanes—as happened yet again in 2005. This hard-packed salty mud makes for poor-growing soil.

At 0.6 mile, the Coastal Prairie Trail passes through a brief shady area grown up with hibiscus. The shade resumes at mile 1.2, when the trail enters an extended buttonwood hammock. Look for an occasional gumbo-limbo tree, with its reddish flaking bark. At mile 2.2, the path dips a little bit, and saltwort and black mangrove increase in number.

The canopy becomes more sporadic until you reach the open prairie after 2.9 miles. The trail winds along the edge of this prairie. At mile 3.1, look for a U.S.G.S. survey marker set in concrete about twenty feet to the right of the trail. You continue to wind in and out of the prairie, and pass through a wide muddy stretch just before coming to Slagle Ditch at 4.5 miles. Cross the bridge and continue into mud flats.

After 5.3 miles, you come upon a huge marl prairie. Look left for views of Florida Bay. Just a short distance into the prairie, a sign announces that Clubhouse Beach is to your left. The old roadbed continues forward; you turn left, bisecting a small thicket and keeping south through prairie toward the beach. Veer left through the saltwort on a muddy trail, coming to Clubhouse Beach after 5.6 miles.

There is a sign here marking this backcountry campsite, which is also accessible by boat via Florida Bay. To camp here overnight, you must get a backcountry permit from the Flamingo Visitor Center. Allow yourself plenty of time to return if you are day hiking; a round-trip takes seven or eight hours.

More Trail We Recommend:










Follow the Everglades Trail to explore the natural wonders of this international treasure. From Florida Bay north to the headwaters in Central Florida, you will find sites that provide accessible opportunities for you to enjoy the beautiful public lands of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. This subtropical region is a remarkable ecosystem with unique plants and wildlife - more than 4 million acres of public lands vital not only for nature but for the water supply for South Florida.

 
Local, state and federal agencies joined together to create this fun and educational opportunity for public enjoyment of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. Extending from the Kissimmee River, through Lake Okeechobee and the Big Cypress into Florida Bay, the Everglades Trail provides you the chance to see the Greater Everglades Ecosystem firsthand. The effects of the Everglades ecosystem are felt as far away as the Dry Tortugas and beyond.

On the Trail
Plan your adventure along the Everglades Trail according to your time and interests. Since the trail is not a specific route, you may tour for a day, weekend, or longer. You may want to spend your entire time at one site, or visit several a day.



Canoeing, hiking, biking, boardwalks and trails await you. Experience on your own or on tram or boat tours. You will also find many other points of interest along the way. Interesting attractions and museums offer fun-filled adventures in cultural and natural history.

 

Each season offers different opportunities. While the summer can be hot and buggy and the winter can be cooler and drier, the rewards of discovery are possible year-round. Please remember to travel safely, bringing along drinks and snacks, bug spray and clothing appropriate for South Florida's frequently changing weather. You may also find binoculars and field guide books useful tools for watching wildlife.

Trail Guidance
 
Look for the Everglades Trail highway signs along the way directing you to the designated Everglades Trail sites. Each site will have a green-roofed kiosk styled after a native chickee with interpretive signs on the Everglades and information about where you are in the ecosystem. To better plan your time, you might contact a site for more information prior to your visit.

A brochure and map of the trail is available at any of the sites or at Visit Florida (www.fla.usa)

Special CD
As you drive the Everglades Trail, listen to stories of wildlife and the history of the region. A special bonus CD offers recordings of diverse musical interpretations of the region by Florida musicians, including two songs by Florida's most famous musician, Jimmy Buffett. Look for these CDs at sales outlets located at the participating locations.

Additional Travel Information
For more information on accommodations and attractions in the area, log on to Visit Florida at: www.fla.usa

In addition to these gateways to the Everglades Trail, you will find interesting sites along the way to discover on your Everglades adventure.

See You on the Trail
Thank you for visiting the Everglades Trail. Your support for conservation of this region is important to ensure that this international treasure survives for future generations to enjoy.

The Everglades Trail is a project initiated by Wilderness Graphics, Inc., the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Friends of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The Trail was introduced by U.S. Senator Bob Graham and created with the support of Office of Greenways and Trails, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Transportation Environmental Management Office, with the assistance of Visit Florida and participation of local, state, and federal agencies.

















 

Disclaimer

MiamiPlus1 do not conduct any Everglades trails' tour unless part of all included incentive or discovery tour included (but not limited to) : transfer, meals arrangement, guide coordination, lodging;
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