Just got this inquiry from Adam, one of our readers:
I will be in the Aventura area …. My wife and I love to walk and hike. What trails would you recommend that are within a half hours drive from that area?
Now the trick, here, Adam, is the time of day and day of week … a half hour from Aventura doesn’t get you very far on a weekday morning or afternoon. It’s just north of North Miami, and the trails in that area are short, no getting around that … just a matter of a lack of large tracts of land for longer hikes. Here are some of the nearby spots north of Miami that I can recommend from hikes I’ve done. Those marked * have at least a mile’s worth of hiking.
Arch Creek Park along US 1, North Miami Beach
Greynolds Park, west of US 1, North Miami Beach *
Snake Warrior Island, Miramar
Anne Kolb Nature Center / West Lake Park, Hollywood *
Nature Trail at John U Lloyd State Park, Hollywood
Secret Woods Nature Center, Dania *
The Beach Hammock Trail and Exotic Trail at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Ft. Lauderdale Beach *
Tree Tops Park, Davie *
Chapel Trail Nature Preserve, Pembroke Pines
Fern Forest Nature Center, Coconut Creek*
Oleta River State Park has great biking trails but they absolutely don’t want hikers on them. I asked. Just south of downtown Miami, you’ll find another handful of parks with nature trails:
Crandon Park, Key Biscayne (trails start at nature center)*
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne
A.D. Barnes Park, off Bird Rd, Coral Terrace
Matheson Hammock Park, Coral Gables
Pinecrest Gardens, Pinecrest*
Deering Estate at Cutler Ridge* (guided hikes only … very cool place)
If you’re looking for longer hikes, you’ve got to go south to Everglades National Park or north to Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach for your closest hikes of more than a couple of miles, other than walking the dikes along the water cachement areas along the Sawgrass Parkway and such. So, folks who live around Miami … here’s where YOU can escape to the woods for a little bit of nature.