Witness several alligators and other wildlife in their natural habitat and take in expansive views of the Everglades National Park seen from the observation tower.

The Shark Valley loop allows you to experience a peaceful bike ride and close encounters with wildlife found in the Everglades. This paved trail takes about 2-3 hours to complete and includes an observation tower with quite a view.

Fill up or purchase water bottles at the Visitor Center for your adventure, as there is no place to refill along the way. Everglades National Park does asks that you ride your bike the opposite direction of the tram that shares the same trail, as well as to stop and stay to the right side to let the tram pass.

The Observation Tower is located 7 miles along the loop. This tower offers the perfect vantage point for panoramic views of the entire surrounding area. You will quickly notice how alive this area is as you look in the water below; alligators, wading birds, and other freshwater wildlife can be found in abundance here. Be sure to also take advantage of the restrooms and enjoy a snack break.

Before jumping back on your bike, you may want to consider exploring the Borrow Pit Trail near the tower, one of a few walking trails off the main paved loop. The Borrow Pit Trail is extremely short (not even a quarter mile round trip) but provides an opportunity to not only stretch your legs and give your gluteus maximus a rest from sitting on your bike, but also allows you to wander the swamp and see more wildlife (the Bobcat Boardwalk is another quick trail worth visiting located near the Visitor Center).

While riding and hiking keep a safe distance from alligators ~10-15 feet. Note if you are visiting the Everglades during the hot summer / dry season many of the alligators will likely stay in the pools of cool water to avoid the heat.

Pack List

  • Water (bring plenty)
  • Snacks
  • Day Pack
  • Sun Screen
  • Camera
  • Bike (you can rent beach cruisers ~$8 an hour)
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RT Distance 15 Miles
Activities Cycling, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great ride!

An enjoyable way to see the Everglades. Definitely bring lots of water!

Alligators Not Sharks.

Great cost and fun for the family! If you rent a bike, I'd advise you to do a test run before using (bad experience after half the ride). Over all, had a great time. Watch out for the all the alligators that come to meet and greet!

This is one of my favorite things to do!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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