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Shark Valley Trail
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best spots for hiking in Miami

Trek on at the best places for hiking in Miami (and nearby), from breezy paths to strenuous trails and rugged terrains

By Virginia Gil
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As far as outdoor activities, hiking in Miami certainly isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we’re looking to spend time in nature. For one, it’s usually oppressively hot and we’d rather hit up a Miami beach than sweat it out at a city park. Then there’s just the issue of elevation. Is it a hike if you’re not scaling hills or meandering down mountainsides? Sure it is. Whether you’re looking to get the blood pumping on a brisk walk, need a new nature trail to explore or just want a change of scenery for your next run, these are the best spots for hiking in Miami.

Best hiking in Miami

Everglades trail
Everglades trail
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Everglades National Park

For a chance to peep wildlife on your hike, make your way southeast to this sprawling wetlands preserve. There are dozens of trails that take you through the park’s numerous habitats, some of which are humid and filled with bugs so you’ll want to keep yourself protected. Hats, sunscreen and spray are all highly recommended. There are two groups of trails, the Flamingo and the Pine Island, and each has its own set of interpretive trails and self-guided walks that meander through all kinds of trees and palms.

Note: Visitor centers and North Nest Key are currently closed 

Shark Valley Trail
Shark Valley Trail
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Shark Valley Trail

Also part of the Everglades but with its own entrance, Shark Valley is home to a 16-mile, heavily trafficked paved trail that loops. It’s suitable for all skill levels but we wouldn’t suggest it for people sensitive to the elements: This trail is completely exposed with little to no shade. The openness does make it easy to spot wildlife, especially the giant alligators you’re bound to see relaxing on the road.

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Snake Creek Trail, Hiking Miami
Snake Creek Trail, Hiking Miami
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Brandt Absolu

3. Snake Creek Trail

It’s mostly cyclists who use this paved trail that connects North Miami Beach and Miami Gardens. It runs alongside a canal dotted with palm trees and cuts through several green spaces with benches and picnic tables should you get tired, as well as exercise stations if you’re interested in giving your workout a boost. Watch for the area near the overpass with the low clearance and the several busy intersections you’ll need to cross to make it the whole way through. It starts and ends at Florida’s Turnpike and NE 19th Avenue and spans approximately 6.5 miles.

Shark Valley Trail
Shark Valley Trail
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Oleta River State Park

Things to do Eastern Shores / Oleta

Outdoorsy types love Oleta for its multitude of activities, from biking and kayaking to picnicking. There are 14 miles of multi-use trails that range in levels, though the intermediate ones are usually overrun with mountain bikers so watch out for oncoming traffic. Several of the trails tend to flood during the rainy months. Hate wet socks? Head to the paved paths on those soggier days.

Note: Due to limited capacity, the park may be closed early and may remain closed for several hours. Picnic pavilions and cabins are currently closed. 

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Bear Cut Preserve Crandon Park
Bear Cut Preserve Crandon Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Steve Harwood

5. Crandon Park

More popular for its beaches than its trails, Crandon Park boasts its share of paths to explore. The Bear Cut Preserve and Tequesta Hammock Trails are a must for nature enthusiasts as both of these quarter-mile stretches meander through tropical hardwood hammocks. While the broad Osprey Beach Trail provides the best views of the ocean. 

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