Field Trip: Shark Valley

shark valleyI am asked a lot, “What is the best way to visit the everglades with kids?”  There really are many great ways to visit the everglades. With that said biking Shark Valley is one of the best ways if you have young children.  Shark Valley is a 14 mile bike loop through the everglades. As you can see from our photographs it is so beautiful. This is my favorite time of year to bike in the Everglades because it isn’t quite so hot. The down side is that you don’t see as many alligators which for many is very exciting. On hot days the gators sun themselves on the banks next to the bike path or on the bike path itself.  This can be quite annoying. You have to stand and wait for the gator to move which can be a very long time. This is probably a good time to say that while alligators can appear sluggish and quite lazy they can run extremely fast! You should always keep your distance and never approach them.  Because I am a native Floridian I have seen more than enough gators and prefer the cooler temperature. Also, if you are biking with kids under 16 they must have a helmet; it is Florida law.  There is a very tall observation tower about halfway. We usually take a break there, use the bathroom, and sit on the pick-nick benches and eat our lunch. Make sure you bring lots of water. If you have a camelbak they work great.  If you aren’t quite up for 14 miles you can take a tram for a fee. Speaking of the trams, if you are biking you must pull to the side and completely stop when a tram is approaching. Make sure you bring your camera.

Shark Valley Website