Anhinga Trail, Everglades
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The Anhinga Trail is fun because there is a lot of wildlife beside it. Even if you don't see alligators, you will most certainly see and hear something. The craziest sounding animals are the pig frogs, which grunt away as you walk along. We saw an alligator hiding in the vegetation, but were a bit disappointed that we didn't see the zillions of alligators that other people talk about. One sketchy thing is that you would not be protected from the alligators because not all of the pathway is raised up above the water. Lily pads with unusual-colored dragonflies are a picturesque sight along the path. As are mangroves, the "walking trees." Anhinga birds are odd, sitting in the trees with their wings fully extended. Turtles with funny pointy snouts creep along on the banks of the water. Fish make big "nests," holes in the sand under the water, and reside one fish per hole. Everything is dark liquid here. The water is clear though, and you can see the magical river grasses swishing in the current.
You walk a cement path with no shade to wooden boardwalks that take you over the water amongst the saw grass and mangroves. A large wooden platform in the middle with a wooden shade creates a nice spot to rest and listen to the pig frogs before you continue on. It is very hot and bright at the Anhinga Trail- bring sunscreen, hats, the works! And come early or late in the day. We thought coming at noon in full sun would increase our chances of seeing alligators but that was not the case. Not sure what conditions the elusive critters prefer.
There is a nice gift shop at the Royal Palm Visitor Center at the beginning of the trail. You follow road signs to the Royal Palm Visitor center to get to the trail.
At the parking lot, there are free plastic car covers to use if you are worried that vultures might eat the rubber around your car windows. We took our chances and our car was ok! The Anhinga Trail/Royal Palm Visitor Center is in the eastern part of the Everglades, on the scenic drive from Ernest Coe Visitor Center (the main visitor center of the entire area) to the "town" of Flamingo. There are many other trails to explore, including the Mahogany Hammock Trail.
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The Anhinga Trail is located at the Royal Palm Visitor Center. The road to the Royal Palm Visitor Center starts at Ernest Coe Visitor Center, which is the main visitor center for the eastern side of the Everglades. From there it's a 5 minute drive to the Royal Palm Visitor Center.Ernest Coe Visitor Center, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034, call (305) 242-7700.
From the Florida Turnpike, take Hwy 821 toward Homestead. After 46 miles, the freeway ends and you take the U.S. Hwy 1 exit. Turn right on 344th Street/ E. Palm Dr. After 1 1/2 miles, turn left at the Robert is Here Stand and then after 2 miles, turn right on State Road 9336. There are plenty of signs to Everglades National Park so it won't be a problem finding it.
It costs $10 per car to enter the park.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.