Alligators are the first thing to come to mind when I hear Everglades. Following very close in second place would be visions of murky swamp waters infested with mosquitoes, so when I saw Shark Valley in the same headline as Everglades it was obvious to see why my curiosity would be piqued.
John Mc Namara invites visitors to the Florida wildlife area in a more intimate way than speeding through on a drive down I-75 or cruising the waters on an airboat. His suggestion as featured in Tropical Adventure is to take the 15-mile bike ride through Shark Valley. It costs $10 to cycle the path which actually leads you to the entrance of Everglades National Park and the author makes it a good point to mention how much wildlife, alligators, birds and scenery you’re bound to experience by going this route. His article is stuffed with really good info for first-time Everglades explorers and novice bike riders who want to explore Shark Valley. He offers tips like don’t touch the gators (which should be a no-brainer) and be prepared for the ever changing weather conditions in the Florida Everglades. Variable high temperatures, wind and unexpected thunderstorms should all be kept in mind. Considering the amount of physical activity you’ll be doing John’s notes become very important in knowing how you’ll find food or beverages. Those who wish not to complete the bike trek can hop on the Shark Valley Tram and see the area with a guide.
I’d totally make a day of it and go for the bike ride. Willy did a Hidden Gems piece on Everglades Airboat Tours which is also worth revisiting if you’re planning to see the area one way or the other. With that said I’d totally do, both! Now, are there any sharks in waters? I doubt it – just gator.