Shark Valley Hikes Nature Walks - Shark Valley Everglades National Park FL

Shark Valley
Nature Walks

Bobcat Boardwalk &
Otther Cave Hammock Walks

 

 

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Shark Valley Nature Walks

Two short nature walks start from the visitor center as well as an all-day hike along the 15-mile paved tram road.  

The Bobcat Boardwalk crosses the median of wilderness separating the east and west roads. The walk starts from the paved road, only a hundred yards from the visitor center.

The boardwalk, about 500 yards long, penetrates a sawgrass prairie with extensive cattails before entering a lowland hammock of willows and other trees able to survive such wet conditions.

Interpretive signs identify various plants and ecosystems and, yes, you definitely could see a bobcat lurking in this area.

With low sunlight, this is a nice walk after the last tram of the day. Large grasshoppers like the top of the boardwalk railing.
 
The loop Otter Cave Hammock Trail starts about a half-mile from the visitor center, entrance from the West Road only.

It passes through a hardwood hammock of Caribbean and Bahamian type trees for about 200 yards. The trail, a combo of rough limestone and small footbridges for crossing a stream, goes past such well known Glades trees as the peeling red-barked gumbo limbo and the gnarly stranger fig (a huge strangler is marked by a sign) .

The trail returns you to your entrance point. Pay close attention to your return direction. Go right for the visitor center. Go left and the next man-made structure is the observation tower about 7 miles distant.

The Tram Road Hike is for those who want to walk the 15-mile tram road loop.
This is a day-long trek best done in the cooler winter months to avoid the stifling heat and (in summer) the frequent afternoon showers.

Plenty of liquids, sunscreen, floppy hat, sunglasses and insect repellent are necessary anytime of year. So are snacks or sandwiches to get you to the end of the road.

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