Mahogany Hammock Trail, Everglades
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It feels like you're walking over to a little jungly island when you begin the Mahogany Hammock Trail. You cross over dark water on a boardwalk to an area of dense jungle right in the middle of saw grass plains. The saw grass plains are interesting because from a distance they look like grass-covered land, but really they are all water, with grass poking through the surface of the water from below. Once in the jungle, your delight fades fast as hungry mosquitoes swarm around you. You may as well run or you'll be eaten alive! The walk only takes about ten minutes because you want to get out of there so fast. The jungle is pretty, though dry-looking.
Come in the coldest time of year when hopefully there are less mosquitoes.
Geologically, you are in fact on an island called a tree island, which forms when acids from the decomposing jungle erode the limestone rock surrounding the jungle, forming a moat.
The Mahogany Hammock Trail is in the eastern part of the Everglades, on the scenic drive from Ernest Coe Visitor Center to the "town" of Flamingo. There are many other trails to explore, including the Anhinga Trail.
For a much nicer jungle walk, visit John D. MacArthur State Park in the Palm Beach area.
On your way out of the eastern part of the Everglades, you'll see the Robert is Here fruit stand. It is a tourist trap and the not-that-yummy smoothies aren't worth navigating the crowds for.
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Wooden boardwalk over shallow water, that leads into the jungle.
Gorgeous tropical plants in a cluster at the beginning of the trail.
The shady walkway.
The road to Mahogany Hammock Trail starts at Ernest Coe Visitor Center, which is the main visitor center for the eastern side of the Everglades. From there it's a 20 minute drive to the trail.
Ernest Coe Visitor Center, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034, call (305) 242-7700.
Exit Florida Turnpike toward Homestead on Highway 821. After 46 miles, this freeway ends and you will exit onto U.S. Hwy 1. Turn right on 344th Street/ E. Palm Dr. Follow the signs to Everglades National Park. After 2 miles, turn left on Tower Rd/ State Hwy 9336 at the Robert is Here market. After 2 miles, turn right on Ingraham Hwy/ State Hwy 9336.
It costs $10 per car to enter the park.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.