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ALL THE BEST HIKING TRAILS NEAR MIAMI

9 PLACES

UPDATED OCT 1, 2019

Forget rolling hills and towering mountains. Hiking in Miami is all about sandy coastlines, swampy wetlands, and scenic trails. Not sure where to begin? That’s why you’ve got us. Here are all the details on the best trails in Miami.

author

CLARISSA BUCH

FITT MIAMI CONTRIBUTOR

Bear Cut Nature Preserve is one of the most beautiful parks in Miami and serves as a window to the wilderness that was once South Florida. Take advantage of this 3.5-mile route, conveniently shaded by large palms that will lead you to an incredible fossil reef with views of the Downtown Miami skyline — you seriously can’t beat this.

Perfect for the adventurous hiker, the Deep Lake Trail is flanked by lush greenery and standing water on its way to a rare natural sinkhole. One of the park's newest trails, Fire Prairie, takes you on a five-mile journey across uneven terrain deep inside the preserve, which protects almost one million acres of Florida swampland.

This nature-filled hike is great for spotting wildlife. Winding through sawgrass marsh, you’re likely to see alligators, turtles, egrets, herons, and more. And since this trail measures in at just under one mile, it’s the perfect way to experience the best of Everglades National Park without committing to a long and arduous hike.

Many people head to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park to bike, kayak, or swim, but it’s also a a great hiking destination worth checking out. You’ll feel miles away from the city as you wind through one of the park’s many trails. Take your pick of easy, short routes that span less than a mile or more challenging paths that stretch nearly 10. Either way, you’ll reap the benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and a little outdoor therapy.

If you like the thought of going off the grid for a little while, you’ll love the Long Pine Key Trails in the Everglades. Covering more than 22 miles, you’ll get lost in Florida’s wilderness and take in one of the world’s most magical ecosystems along the way. Fitt Tip: wear long sleeves to avoid bug bites (it’s woodsy) and consider visiting in the wintertime, there’s nothing worse than a muddy trek during one of Miami’s hot and humid summers.

Experienced and well-conditioned hikers will enjoy the challenges presented at Oleta River State Park. Though it’s only about two miles long, the trail’s twists and turns through hardwood hammocks and mangroves will keep you engaged and ready for what lies next. Not to mention, Oleta is actually Miami’s largest urban park, complete with 15 miles of off-road cycling trails, picnic and fishing areas, and kayaking routes that you can enjoy after your trek.

Beach-lovers and hiking enthusiasts — this one’s for you. Take a drive out to Virginia Key and journey through one of the island’s many trails. While the 4.1-mile route is mostly reserved for mountain bikers, runners and walkers are welcome to explore along the sides of the paths during the daytime. Fitt Tip: a day pass to the park is $6, so make sure you bring some cash along.

There are so many reasons why we love Matheson Hammock Park. Besides the fact that it’s home to a beautiful preserve of Florida’s natural hardwood hammock forests, this outdoor oasis also features a great hiking trail that happens to be one of the largest near the city (and is completely free to visitors). The park is also perfect for bird-watching and photography and offers a few nature trails that will guide you past lakes, open meadows, and tall Cuban royal palms.

Think of Kendall Indian Hammocks Park as a slice of the wild set up right in the center of urban Miami-Dade County. The park features a network of trails, which all run for about one mile. And while these routes might not be the longest (or the hardest), you’ll be surrounded by tropical vegetation, limestone formations, and tranquility. Fitt Tip: if you go, wear long pants and be mindful of poison ivy.

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