One of the perennial destinations for birding in Everglades National Park, Eco Pond sits near the end of the Main Park Road in Flamingo. During the 2005 hurricanes, a wave of salt water washed across the landscape, changing the pond’s salinity, affecting the wildlife living there. This loop still provides excellent birdwatching and wildlife sightings, but birds no longer blot out the sky while they jostle for a roost at dusk.
Location: Everglades National Park
Length: 0.5 miles
Fees/Permits: Entrance fee of $25 vehicle, $20 motorcycle, $8 cyclist/pedestrian. Good for one week.
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Bug factor: moderate to extreme
Restroom: nearby at the visitor center
From the visitor center in Flamingo, drive 0.8 mile south on the Main Park Rd and park in the parking area on the right. A boardwalk leads to an observation platform that marks the start of the trail.
The trail circles a man-made wetland created to naturally filter and cleanse treated wastewater from the visitor center and lodge complex in Flamingo. Start at the observation deck and walk counterclockwise around the loop. The trail leads to another observation platform about a quarter of the way around the pond. As the trail curves around the far side of the pond, you get a nice panorama of the coastal prairie before facing the pond again for great views over the open water as you complete the loop.
More about Everglades National Park