It’s safe to say Miami is one of the best cities in the country, but our beloved Magic City is also surrounded by some absolutely stunning wilderness. From the sprawling paths that lead to the heart of the Everglades to the more urban trails of Matheson Hammock Park, you can explore the great outdoors at these gorgeous spots, perfect for hikers of all levels.
So put on your walking shoes, pack a bottle of water and don’t forget to bring your camera with you because these gorgeous trails serve some equally gorgeous views! Check them out:
1. Shark Valley Trail, Everglades
This 15-mile loop in the Everglades is the closest spot for long-distance hiking near Miami. A pretty accessible and easy trail all year round, Shark Valley takes you deep into the Everglades where you’ll be able to take in the gorgeous landscape and natural wildlife of South Florida. Its midway point, a 45-foot observation tower, especially offers swiping views of the wetlands. The trail is all paved which makes it quite accessible to everyone, but be mindful of the bikers that you may run into along the way!
Where: 36000 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33194
Located in Coral Gables, Matheson Hammock Park is one of the closest hiking destinations to the Magic City. The park centers around a marina and a man-made atoll pool, while its nature trails offer a stunning trip through rugged terrain and tropical trees in one of the area’s portions of ancient hammock.
Where: 9610 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156
Some of the harder trails on our list, Oleta River State Park’s paths are mainly designed for mountain bikers offering pedestrians a more moderate challenge when it comes to hiking through the park. The loop is around 3 miles long, and those wishing to add an extra couple of miles and explore further can veer off through the various offshoot paths along the main trail.
Where: 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33160
4. Florida Trail, Big Cypress
If you’re looking to really break away from civilization then the Florida Trail at Big Cypress National Preserve might just be for you. A 1,000-mile-long trail connecting Big Cypress at the tip of South Florida with Pensacola up north, the Florida trail’s unpaved and undeveloped paths are a must for serious backpackers and hikers. But if you’re looking to get a little taste of the expert level trail, you can always start at the Tamiami Trail rest stop and head about 30 miles north to I-75.
Where: 33100 Tamiami Trail E, Ochopee, FL 34141
5. Anhinga Trail, Everglades
The Anhinga Trail is another great option for a fun day trip, especially if you’re a fan of the Everglades. The popular trail winds through a sawgrass marsh and is just under a mile. It is also a prime destination for wildlife spotting (hence the name)!
Where: 40001 State Hwy 9336, Homestead, FL 33034
6. Bill Baggs Cape Florida Nature Trail, Key Biscayne
The Robin’s Birding Trail, a three-mile loop in Key Biscayne, is perfect for a laid-back breezy stroll through the beach. The trail itself is pretty easy and will take you along some stunning views of clear blue waters as well as the historic lighthouse — which has been there for over 200 years!
Where: 1200 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
7. Bear Cut Nature Preserve Trail, Crandon Park
The Bear Cut Preserve is another great hiking destination in Key Biscayne. This short two-mile hike will take you to the shoreline under the shade of tropical trees and will lead you across several beaches and sandy dunes. The northernmost point of the trail is home to 6,000-year-old mangrove tree fossils that have since formed a coral reef along the coast.
Where: 6767 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
8. Snake Creek Trail
Connecting North Miami Beach and Miami Gardens, this pleasant neighborhood trail spans approximately 6.5 miles and is perfect for walking, running and biking on its fully paved road. The trail passes through residential areas, shopping areas and restaurants which also makes it ideal if you’re hoping to stop somewhere along the way!
Where: 1601 NE 165th St, North Miami Beach, FL 33162
Another trail running alongside the beach on this list is located in Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and it’s a must for nature enthusiasts. The beach itself offers incredible views to soak in and plenty of chances to spot wildlife while the shaded trail takes you down a hardwood hammock.
Where: 4020 Virginia Beach Dr, Miami, FL 33149
Although this 11-acre nature preserve has been open on FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus for decades, many are unaware that it exists! It features three diverse ecosystems for its many plant and animal species living there: Pine Rocklands, Tropical Hardwood Hammocks and Freshwater Wetlands. Take a walk with nature down its jogging path or guided nature trails, which are meant to give you a sense of being deep in the Everglades despite being surrounded by the city.
Where: 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33199
Contributed by Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz