Pa-hay-okee Overlook Boardwalk Trail Everglades National Park


Pa-hay-okee
Overlook Trail

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Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail

The Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail is on the Main Park Road to Flamingo, just over 12 miles from the park entrance.
The turnoff is on the right.

What you'll see

The Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail is a short elevated boardwalk leading to an observation tower. This spot has always been a landmark for viewing the immense sawgrass prairie and its scattered, island-like hammocks.

The boardwalk extends for just under a quarter mile into the sawgrass, one of the oldest plant species in the world.

Sawgrass richly deserves its name, but it’s better to learn that by sight than by touch. Its tiny sharp teeth both discourage animals from grazing on it and help trap water during the dry season. On foggy nights the dew will condense on the plant’s teeth and roll down the V-shaped midrib to the roots. 

Classified as a sedge (Caladium jamaicense), the sawgrass extends as a river 100 miles north and south from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf Mexico, and 50-75 miles from east to west.

Even during the wettest periods, the average water depth is only 6 inches.

You may see an alligator here but more likely it will be the birdlife that attracts your attention: red-shouldered hawks, red-winged blackbirds, and that most essential scavenger, the vulture. In Florida, vultures are protected by law.

But don't forget to look down, too. There is apt to be an alligator or two near the covered overlook platform.

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