BIKING SHARK VALLEY TRAIL Everglades National Park, Florida

Biking Team:  Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: November 9, 2021

This 15 mile paved bike trail in the vast Everglades wilderness was awesome. We saw 26 alligators in the first seven miles with several gators laying part on the bike path and the remainder with a yard or two from the path. The trail ran parallel to a small swampy canal and thick brush where I saw several Florida gar fish. At mile 7 was a four story tall Observation Tower with great aerial views of the park. The trail then looped out into a river of grassland that was less dense where we saw lots of beautiful birds (egrets, anhinga’s) & six more alligators over then final 8 miles. While bicycling we occasionally heard loud growls which I had assumed were from a four-legged animal (panther, black bear etc.) but in reality, were from alligators. A park ranger told me it was called bellowing and sometimes meant the gator was mad or was a mating call. The bellowing was very scary when it sounded really close by and you could not see a gator. I was videoing an alligator that was about 20 feet away when it let loose with a series of bellows while lifting its head and tail. It was quite scary. The trail itself was wide and well maintained & we look forward to biking there again.

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