Very scenic drive through glades and islands. Beautiful views of the ocean and Florida bay
5 months ago
Excellent drive. It is very scenic and well worth the trip. We only made it half way as we are saying in Colony Key. We will complete the trip later in the week.
why are all the posts about driving a car, this is supposed to be for riding
Beautiful views of the blue water. Lots of cormorants, kingfishers, magnificent frigatebirds. Enjoyed all the murals while driving through Key Largo as well. Saw Key Deer on Big Pine Key.
This is a canoeing trail no hiking or walking in this area; somebody made a mistake when describing the area.
9 months ago
Did this return in a day. Bit of a rush, lots of tourists in Key West. Great atmosphere and coastal views. Would be magic to stay longer some time. Keep an eye on your speed, law enforcement notoriously revenue hungry down there.
11 months ago
This is a fun way to explore the Everglades. We were too early in the season to do the ranger led canoe trip (which would likely be the best option if it is available), but we were able to rent a canoe from the Flamingo Marina which is not too far from Nine Mile Pond. It was only about $20 for a couple hours. We picked up paddles and life jackets at the marina and they gave us a combination to unlock the canoe that was already located at Nine Mile Pond.
The canoeing is challenging, but definitely a fun adventure. It takes some time to figure out how to find your route and the markers. It also is slow going in spots due to tight turns and grass that you paddle through making it much more challenging than open water canoeing. Also keep in mind that not all the route markers have numbers on them so there can be a couple “blank” markers in between the numbered ones. We did the cutoff due to time and the route took us about 2 hours (enjoying our time, but also not going too slow). It gets much easier to find your route after you have been going for awhile and getting a better idea of where the markers are and looking for clues where other canoes had been (matted down grass, open channels, etc.). We did not see any other canoes out while we did the route, but also felt comfortable doing it on our own. There is a brochure that can be picked up at the Flamingo Visitors center that talks about the route, gives a rough map and route marker numbers. This is helpful to have as is the map from Alltrails (including the satellite view). I would recommend doing this trail since so much of the Everglades is water.
Mon Jul 30 2018
A great experience and recommended highly for reasonably fit paddlers with at least a moderate level of experience, including kayak camping. Research it well-once you start, there is no civilization until the end. No crossroads, no stores, no ranger stations, nothing but the Chickees and ground sites that you will be camping on. It may be accessible all year round but unless you are fond of paddling in full mosquito/no-see-um gear you don’t want to except in the dead of winter (January and maybe the first half of Feb.). Also you are required to declare your campsites in advance and stick to them. They take commando camping very seriously here. It’s not like a forest trail where, if things don’t work out, you can just move off the trail and camp. You can’t do that here-trust me-and if too many people show up at a Chickee it can be a serious problem. I strongly recommend paddle camping overnight in the area at least once before you start the trail and be prepared for some gymnastics getting on and off the Chickees. When I went there were a couple that still didn’t have ladders. The park service has tons of good info online-read it. If you go in winter, after a couple of good cold fronts have dropped the mosquitos to a more tolerable level you will see other folks on the waterway, we never had a day when we didn’t. If you don’t have good navigational skills and/or a good nav app & GPS I would fore-go “The Nightmare” and take the coastal detour but we did it and I thought it was one of the highlights of the trip. Again, it was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it to any serious paddler.
Tue Jun 26 2018
The drive to key west is beautiful, lots of great ocean view. Beware of the traffic on the weekend; at times it will be bumper to bumper. The 3 hour trip is worth it and at the end of the trail you can actually see the island of Cuba( as long as there is no clouds in the sky).
We love this trail! Smooth paddling up the canal but please use your judgement when entering Coot Bay it can be too choppy to enter in a small vessel such as a kayak or canoe. We saw gators and crocs, birds, gar fish and there IS the possibility of seeing manatees but over the four times we have gone we have not seen any. Quiet paddling will help if you are interested in seeing them.
The trail from flamingo to coot bay and returning (full there-and-back) was 6.4 miles. They quote less but we usd GPS device and mapping and find it impossible to be that significantly less mileage that they quote. On a windy day we made it there and back in 2 hours so if you are renting a kayak and plan on non-stop paddling you can make it. If you want to relax book the kayak for longer!
Sun Dec 31 2017
The Overseas Highway consists of 42 bridges of various lengths connecting the many scenic keys along its 113 mile length. The longest is the famous Seven Mile Bridge, which separates the Middle Keys from the Lower Keys and is the largest segmental bridge in the world. There are five regions in the Keys (Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and Key West). I have made it is as far as Islamorada. I am very much looking forward to my next opportunity to visit South Florida so I can complete the trip to Key West and the Conch Republic…as well as to extend the experience with a ferry excursion to Dry Tortugas National Park (70 miles past Key West).
Tue May 09 2017
This another must do scenic drive that our country has to offer. From Florida City all the way to the southern most point in the U.S.A., this drive is like no other. The bridges from Key to Key are endless it seems. I’m surprised again that no one has reviewed this incredible drive to Key West. I had always wanted to go to Key West, but would only do it if I could drive. I would go again in a minute. And Key West is a fun town to hang out in for a few days too. So if you ever find yourself in South Florida, this is a worthwhile adventure!!
Wed Dec 16 2015
Perfect way to explore the Everglades National Park!
Sat Nov 28 2015
Great canoe trail. We did the short cut and it took us about 4 hours. Trail is well marked although it could always be better. Not too much wildlife. Only a few birds and fish.
Fri Feb 06 2015
The start of the trail is across an open lake. There is a lot of animal life so keep your hands in the boat. The trail narrows but is passible. It does open to the saw grass. I would suggest bringing a pole to use for propulsion. The trails is well marked with PVC pipe so there are no issues.
There are a few gator holes along the route also. Lots of birds and did see a couple of raccoon and lots of gators.
Sun Sep 11 2016