WARSH GONE WILD

Shark Valley – Everglades National Park, FL

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Shark Valley is a 15-mile paved loop trail in Everglades National Park off of Highway 41.  

 There’s a tram that goes around the loop, but taking it is kind of ridiculous when you can rent or bring a bike unless you’re in a time crunch. The first half of the loop runs along the water and there are tons of gators, turtles, and birds along the path. You are likely to see tourists taking pictures of each other touching the alligators’ tails, but that is ill advised. Alligators won’t generally bother you but for crying out loud don’t poke them, that’s considered “molesting.” The paved path is flat, smooth, and has a lot of wildlife so just enjoy the views.

 

   
At the halfway point is the Shark Valley Observation Tower. Cool views from the top. We saw enormous gators below that have lived there for years, eagles soaring, and a view of the Everglades for miles in every direction.

The second half of the loop had less wildlife, but was still a nice bike ride. At the end of the loop we walked along the Bobcat Boardwalk, which is a boardwalk trail going through a hammock. We also walked along the Borrow Pit Trail (accessible from the main paved loop) until this guy blocked the path.

Otter caves along the hammock trail- basically solution holes along the limestone path.    
   
We were fortunate or unfortunate enough to come across a dead alligator floating upside down in the water. The ranger told us that he died of natural causes and had been floating there filling with gas for several days. Because he was so bloated his weiner was alert and saluting us. We were told that they were waiting for the gator to pop, at which point the vultures would swoop in and have a feast. Some real circle of life shit.

Links:

Shark Valley – National Parks Service
Shark Valley Tram Tours
Shark Valley on Trip Advisor

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