Everglades National Park Transportation Tips by grandmaR Top 5 Page for this destination
Everglades National Park Transportation: 9 reviews and 12 photos
Bikers on the tram trail
There are three ways to get from the headquarters to the overlook. Walk, take the tram, or bike. It is a nice fairly flat, paved 15 mile (round trip) trail which serves for both the tram and the bike/hike trail. The first half of this trail was built in 1946 by Mobil Oil when they were exploring the possibilities of finding oil in the Everglades - fortunately for us there was none.
If you do not have your own bicycle, one may be rented at the tram office. They were $5.75 in 2005. Rentals are available from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and must be returned by 4:00 p.m.
I was not fit enough to do the bike ride, besides which I wanted to hear the narration that is given on the tram. But you probably will see much more in the way of wildlife if you go by bike. About half-way is a 65-foot-tall observation tower can be climbed to get a vulture's-eye view. Stay at least 15 feet from the alligators, and do not shout at them to try to get them to open their eyes. Also do not get near the baby alligators or you may incur the wrath of the momma.
The park service warns: There are no short cuts. If you become tired or are unable to complete the entire 15 mile trip, turn around and return on the same road. Be aware of vehicles coming up behind you. (These will all be trams or park service vehicles - no private vehiles are allowed on the road).
Bicycling the road takes an average of 2 to 3 hours, but varies with physical stamina and personal interests. The parking lot closes at 6:00 p.m., so be sure to allow enough time.
Along the road are four artificial ponds. These "borrow pits" are areas where limestone has been quarried, crushed into gravel, and then used to raise the level of the tram road. In the winter months, when the sawgrass prairie is dry, the borrow pits serve as water holes that attract a variety of wildlife. Look for alligators, wading birds, anhingas, and turtles around these human-made "gator holes."
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