In the early 1900s, naturalists were well aware of the vast bird life in the Everglades, and so were plume hunters, looking to cash in on the use of heron plumage as a New York fashion statement, a popular finishing touch to ladies’ hats. State law provided one game warden for each county in Florida, and soon the Audubon Society stepped up and hired four wardens at its own expense to protect certain rookeries in the state. One of them was Guy Bradley. He was a Monroe County Deputy and knew the local hunting community – both legal and poachers – very well.
Location: Everglades National Park, Flamingo
Length: 1 mile (2 miles round-trip)
Lat-Long: 25.140320, -80.925390 and 25.137666, -80.933170
Fees/Permits: Entrance fee of $25 vehicle, $20 motorcycle, $8 cyclist/pedestrian. Good for one week.
Bug factor: moderate to extreme
This trail is paved.
The trail starts at the Guy Bradley Memorial at the Flamingo Visitor Center and follows the waterfront to the campground.
Start your walk by reading the bronze memorial to Guy Bradley, and then head west down the sidewalk toward the Flamingo Lodge. At 0.1 mile, you will come upon a sign with a picture of an amphitheater as well as a no-jeeps-allowed sign. Turn left onto a paved path that soon splits left again and circles behind the remains of the Flamingo Lodge and along Florida Bay. Fantastic views of the keys in Florida Bay are interspersed among the stands of black mangrove.
Leaving the lodge remains behind, you enter a wooded area. Look for pilings of an old dock near the shoreline. The trail is still so close to the ocean that sea grass washes over the path. The sea grass is then cleared and piled along either side of the path. At 0.9 mile, a side trail leads to the former rental cottage area. Ahead is the grassy area of the Flamingo walk-in tent campground. The trail ends at the campground parking turnaround, at 1.0 mile.
More about Everglades National Park