Paddle the 9 Mile Pond Canoe Trail

Rate this Adventure Florida 9 Mile Pond, Florida

Added by Jess Curren

Paddle through beautiful mangrove forests and open glades while searching for wildlife.

If you only do one thing in the Everglades, I highly recommend canoeing through the mangrove and lake meadows of 9 mile pond. I had thought the Everglades would have been swampy, but they are in fact "glades" or open meadows in a forest.

We decided to rent canoes from the concessionaire near the Flamingo Visitor Center. They usually have canoes both at the visitor center and 9 mile pond, but a large group rented all the canoes right before we got there so we paid an extra $45 to have two canoes transported up to the pond. Frustrating, but worth it.

We arrived at the pond with life jackets and paddles, and retrieved the canoes from the concessionaire. In just a minute we were in the water, paddling across a small lake to the start of the trail. Paddling across the pond can be the most difficult part of the trail as sometimes high winds blow across it.

At the other side of the pond, we found white marker #1 and plunged into the mangroves. All long the canoe trail are poles stuck in the ground. Each marker bears a number which could help us choose the right direction as we paddled. Without those markers, it would have been impossible to find our way through (or out!) of those mangrove forests and we would have been completely lost!

Padding through mangroves is beautiful, but the paddling trail was often narrow and often turned quite sharply. Luckily, the roots of the mangrove trees grow out from the trunk of the tree above the waterline, and grow outward before plunging down into the water. The result of this root growth pattern is a natural ‘bumper’ of sorts that made paddling a little easier. When we missed a turn or edged too close to the trees, the natural edge created by the roots prevented us from paddling too far under the trees.

The mangrove forest eventually broke apart, and we found ourselves in more open sections of the glade. At the midpoint of our paddle, we came into a large glade that was a wonderful cross between a meadow and a lake. The area was covered with water shallow enough to allow grasses to grow. From near the waterline, it looked as though the meadow was grassy and solid enough to walk across it. Instead, we got to paddle through it.

The meadow contained a shortcut that allowed us to cut our paddle in half. We took the shortcut and had a snack, and then headed continued along the trail back to the truck.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug spray
  • Rain jacket
  • Snacks
  • PFD (if you bring your own boats)
  • Extra paddle
  • Waterproof bag for gear
Read More



Canoeing, Kayaking

Skill Level:



Year Round


Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Jess Curren

Outdoor adventure loving mom of 3 amazing kids and wife to the best husband a girl could ask for. We sold everything in 2013 to travel the United States in our Airstream travel trailer. We bike, hike, backpack, and love to explore new places as a family.

More Adventures Nearby

Paddle to Cypress Spring

Florida / Cotton Landing

Starting at Cotton Landing, you paddle about a quarter of a mile downstream until you encounter the spring run to the right/north.

Jeremy Clark
19 Saves

Paddle The Everglades' Wilderness Waterway

Florida / Wilderness Waterway - North

The Wilderness Waterway in the Everglades National Park can be navigated either by kayak or canoe. This is an endurance voyage that typically takes upwards of 10 days if you are solo-canoeing.

Mike Quine
11 Saves

Kayak Camp on Panther Key

Florida / Panther Key

To reach Panther Key, kayaking and navigation of the tides and mangrove islands is a necessity.

Daniel Barr
5 Saves