Miami’s natural landscape is versatile and rich in wildlife. From beach dunes to mangrove forests equipped with scenic views of the ocean as well as bird-watching opportunities, there’s a myriad of paths to spend a tranquil moment. Here’s our roundup of the best hiking trails in the Magic City.
Nestled on Key Biscayne, the scenic Crandon Park boasts miles of pristine white sandy beaches, dunes, and seagrass for hikers to explore. While on a walk, visitors can spot sightings of wildlife such as ospreys, herons, and sea turtles that are native to South Florida. The beach also offers on-site tennis, golf, and watersport fun such as kayaking and paddleboarding.
Encompassing about 1.5 million acres of wetlands in South Florida, the Everglades National Park is home to a rich ecosystem and unique wildlife worth exploring. There are numerous trails to venture through, including the Pine Island, Flamingo, and Coastal Prairie Trails, among others. However, trails are not normally maintained, so visitors should be prepared to encounter vines and other vegetation along their walk. Aside from hiking, the park also offers canoeing and cycling trails. Just be advised that the summer months are hot, humid and plagued by mosquitoes, so it’s necessary to cover up and wear mosquito repellent.
Hiking at Matheson is another picturesque venture as the waterfront park lies along Biscayne Bay with views of the Miami skyline. The park, lined with mangroves and a marina, is also home to a man-made atoll pool where visitors can take a dip while picnicking along the sand. The short 1.4-mile (2.3-kilometer) trail winds through the tropical, lush vegetation in the peaceful retreat that gets you away from city life. There are also trails for cyclists to ride, which ties into the bike-friendly Old Cutler Road, flanked by Banyan trees and charming homes that make for an enjoyable morning in the suburbs.
With over 515 acres of land, this park in Hialeah hosts trails for hiking and mountain biking; lakes for wakeboarding; and even a petting zoo at the Bill Graham Farm Village. Visitors can easily take part in their favorite outdoor activities offered in the vast park (and even get lost doing so). There’s also a Bark Park for dogs to play.
Known as the largest urban park in the state, Oleta is located along Biscayne Bay in Miami. The northern portion of the park is covered by mangrove forests that are home to manatees and crocodiles. Swimming is available at the small 1,200-foot (366-meter) beach, and canoeing is possible in the Oleta River. Aside from this, there are miles of off-road bike paths for pro and novice cyclists and trails for hikers to wander through the abundant vegetation and encounter wildlife.
While the majority of recreational activities here are in the water, this marine sanctuary offers about a quarter-mile (0.4-kilometer) jetty trail along the mangrove-lined shore beginning at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. It’s not a full-fledged hiking trail and only accessible through Elliot Key, but during a break from boating or fishing, it’s a tranquil path to linger through and enjoy breathtaking sights.