The road known as 8th Street in Miami becomes the Tamiami Trail - also known as US 41. (Yes, it is the continuation of our own Lake Shore Drive). About 20 miles west of Miami is the Shark Valley entrance to the Everglades National Park. At the end of the parking lot, a 15 mile paved loop trail heads into the heart of the park. Designed for motorized trams to take tourists into the interior of the park, the path is open for cyclists and hikers.
|Getting up close and personal with nature|
Within the first hundred yards of the trailhead, we saw our first alligator in the bayou that ran along the path. Over the next several miles we saw literally hundreds of his (her?) cousins, along with turtles, all kinds of birds and a profusion of plants and wild flowers. Around the halfway point is an observation tower that can be climbed to get a panoramic view of this unique environment.
|A view from the tower|
- Joe Dickstein