Shark Valley Tram Tour
From Everglades City it is to “Shark Valley Tram Tour” 45 miles (72 km) or an hour's drive. We had one there kayak trip to Sandfly Island made. To enter you need a National Park Entrance Fee (25 $ per car). It is valid for 7 days and good for access to the Everglades National Park. We only bought it when we got one canoe trip in the Everglades made at Nine Mile Pond. That was accessible through another entrance. We were too late to rent bicycles, but a ride with the Shark Valley Tram Tour was still possible. I quickly went to buy tickets and we were able to just make it to the last tram tour of 16 PM (00 PM).
Shark valley by bike
I would have rather done the tour by bike. The total distance of the cycle route is 15 miles or 24 km and takes about 2 hours. We rather like places “off the beaten track” and are not too fond of tourist trains. In hindsight it was not too bad and we were happy with the tram tour through Shark Valley. There was a nice nature guide. Every now and then the tram stopped and the guide gave us an explanation about the vegetation and the animals in the park. I thought it was quite interesting and the Ranger explained it well. Most of the bicycles had already returned to the entrance, because at 5 pm you have to return the bicycle.
The advantage of a guided tram tour is that the rangers know the whereabouts of each alligator, so we spotted many among the tall grass. The guide told us that there are almost no deer left in the park, because the Everglades are full of the choke snakes that eat the deer. Especially the baby alligators eat them. The snakes are not native and have become a real pest. They are difficult to catch and probably never even to be removed. We were able to view 2 alligator nests on the route, with baby alligators, from 2 meters away, albeit from the tram because mama-gator was lying in wait.
Shark Valley Observation tower
Eventually, after 8 miles or 12.8 km, you will come to the 45-foot high viewing tower, the Shark Valley Obsevation Tower. There we had 15 minutes to get to the viewpoint. On the way to the tower we saw a small light green snake on a branch, several water birds, three baby alligators and a lot of black vultures. The path runs in a wide arc all the way up and is wheelchair accessible. The entire tour is fully accessible for disabled people. At the top you have a beautiful panoramic view of the wide plains of the Everglades. There was not a breath of wind and the temperature was really blissful.
Are alligators in Florida dangerous?
On the way back we stopped a few more times by tram to see water birds, a large water turtle and a huge alligator. In the photo, he or she is really just holding his mouth open to let air out of his stomach. Still keep your feet in ...😄 We have been told that there has never been an alligator attack on walkers or cyclists on the bike path. The alligators cross the road or just lie on the warm asphalt. So you can't help but cycle around it. Always keep a safe distance. It is always recommended that you keep 10 to 15 feet (3 meters) away from wildlife.
Once there was an incident with a child who was bitten by an alligator, but that was because the boy missed a turn in the path with his bicycle and ended up in a pond on top of an alligator. If you want to hear the whole story, then you should also do the Shark Valley Tram Tour… When we are in South Florida again, we will definitely do the bike tour.