Best Hikes in the Everglades: Amazing & Short Everglades Trails

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The great thing about hikes in the Everglades is that many are short and flat! Which means that many Everglades trails are great for families with kids or for anyone else looking for easy Everglades National Park hikes.

Here are some wonderful and short options for Everglades hiking that still showcase the wonders of the area!

Everglades Lodging, Food, & Things to Do in the Everglades with Kids

If you’re looking for more info on Everglades activities with kids, as well as where to stay, eat, weather, and more, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Everglades National Park with Kids!

Tips for Hiking Everglades Trails

Hiking in the Everglades is a bit different from hiking in many other places. While many trails might be short and flat, the weather can really impact the experience! Here are a few tips before heading out on Everglades National Park hikes:

  • Pack plenty of water for Everglades trails. The Florida heat and humidity is no joke! We love this water bottle and this water bottle for adults. This hydration backpack for kids is a favorite. (Also available here.) My older kids LOVE this water bottle, and this and this are our favorites for toddlers.
  • Pack a good rain jacket or poncho when participating in Everglades National Park hiking. Quick storms are very common and can happen even in the dry season. Everyone will be happier if you have some sort of cover up. I love this long and waterproof rain jacket for women, this men’s rain jacket, and this kids rain jacket. Or these cheap ponchos are also great for travel, especially if the weather is warm.
  • We like to have waterproof shoes when hiking in the Everglades – both for the option to go out on water-related activities (like canoeing or kayaking) and in the event of rain. My kids wore either hiking sandals or waterproof sneakers so they wouldn’t stay soaked for days. (I like these and these.)
  • Pack sunscreen and insect repellent for Everglades hiking! These are good to have on hand in any season. I LOVE this sunscreen because it smells amazing. I also love this kind for kids – it’s great for sensitive skin. This is my favorite facial sunscreen for myself. We like this bug repellent in areas that don’t have a high prevalence of disease-carrying mosquitos (we use Deet in Zika/dengue/malarial areas).
  • Take advantage of early mornings. Mornings are the best in the Everglades because they tend to be cooler, less crowded, and aren’t as buggy as the evenings.
  • Considering purchasing a National Parks annual pass in advance. The Everglades National Park entrance fee is $30, and the annual pass is $80. If you’ll be visiting some other parks during the year, it might be worthwhile to purchase the pass. And here is info on how to get a free annual pass if you have a 4th grade child!
  • Leave the area better than you found it. Be sure to follow good conservation practices while on hikes in Everglades National Park. This includes packing out ALL food and trash (including peels and anything biodegradable), never feeding wildlife, keeping a safe distance from wildlife, staying on marked trails, etc. Look for more info in the park booklets and signs! The Junior Ranger booklets are also filled with great information on protecting and preserving the parks.

10 Easy Hikes in the Everglades

All distances are round trip. Note that pets are not allowed on any park trails.

Anhinga Trail: Easy Everglades Hikes

  • Distance: 0.8 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Start: Royal Palm Visitor Center

If you’re going to choose just one hike in Everglades National Park, be sure to do the Anhinga Trail. It’s a popular trail when hiking in the Everglades, and with good reason. The sawgrass marsh is home to a wide variety of wildlife and the short boardwalk trail is good for many abilities.

Gumbo Limbo Trail

  • Distance: 0.4 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Start: Royal Palm Visitor Center

Tack this one onto your Anhinga adventure to spot the namesake gumbo limbo trees and royal palms, as well as a variety of ferns. It’s one of our favorite Everglades hiking trails!

Pahayokee Overlook

  • Distance: 0.25 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Start: 13 miles west of the Ernest Coe Visitor Center

You’ll find beautiful views of the “river of grass” on this tiny little loop stroll that’s one of those can’t-miss Everglades National Park hikes.

Mahogany Hammock Trail

  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Start: 20 miles west of the Ernest Coe Visitor Center

This lush boardwalk trail meanders through a hardwood “hammock,” or a slightly elevated closed canopy of trees forming somewhat of an island in a very different ecosystem. Look for the largest living mahogany tree in the United States on one of the best Everglades walking trails.

West Lake Trail

  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Start: 7 miles north of the Flamingo Visitor Center

If you’re looking for unique Everglades National Park hikes, we love this one with 3 different kinds of mangrove forests (white, red, and black) on a pretty boardwalk that leads to the edge of West Lake.

Eco Pond Trail

  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Start: On the right just west of the Flamingo Visitor Center

This freshwater pond is frequented by a variety of wildlife, including alligators, birds, and softshell turtles.

Guy Bradley Trail

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Start: Flamingo Visitor Center

This scenic walk from the Flamingo Visitor Center to the Flamingo Campground day-use area meanders along Florida Bay for one of the prettiest hikes in the Everglades. Keep an eye out for a variety of birds and butterflies and add this to your list of Everglades National Park hikes!

Bobcat Boardwalk

  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Start: Behind the Shark Valley Visitor Center

If you’re in the Shark Valley area, this is a good trail to experience the diversity of wildlife found in a sawgrass slough and in the tropical hardwood forests. Winter is an especially good time to view migratory birds.

Bear Lake Trail

  • Distance: 3.6 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Start: 2 miles north of the Flamingo Visitor Center at the end of Bear Lake Road (no RVs allowed on this road)

This gorgeous hardwood forest interspersed with mangroves is a beautiful option if you’d like a slightly longer trail. It meanders along Homestead Canal and has a huge variety of bird and tree species.

Keep in mind that this Everglades trail is not currently being maintained because of threat of damage to the herb Cape Sable thoroughwort. Please take extra caution on this trail both for safety and conservation.

Coastal Prairie Trail

  • Distance: 15 miles
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Start: Flamingo Campground Loop C

This old road frequented by fisherman is now a trail filled with coastal succulents and buttonwoods. If you take the trail all the way to the end, you’ll find yourself at Clubhouse Beach, where backcountry camping is allowed with a permit.

Keep in mind that this is one of the hikes in the Everglades that is not currently being maintained because of threat of damage to the herb Cape Sable thoroughwort. Please take extra caution on this trail both for safety and conservation.

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