On of the biggest draws of visiting the Everglades is witnessing this incredible ecosystem at work. The natural diversity and abundance of wildlife present in the park is astounding and makes any visit an adventure. There is no better place to observe all that the Everglades have to offer than from the Shark Valley Observation Tower.
Located at the halfway point of the Tram Trail, this large observation tower brings visitors high above the surrounding saw grasslands and marsh. From its elevated surface, visitors can enjoy sweeping vistas of this unique ecosystem, almost uninterrupted. Abundant wildlife can be seen taking advantage of the meeting of salt and freshwater, and it's not uncommon to see bird species such as snail kites, egrets, and herons. Keep an eye out also for the reptilian residents of the park, as alligators and turtle species also call this area home.
Once you've had your fill of these panoramic views, visitors can continue on the Tram Trail for an up-close look at a hardwood hammock. These stands of hardwoods are yet another unique feature of the greater Everglades ecosystem.
Though the Shark Valley Observation Tower takes work to get to, your efforts will be rewarded with spectacular views and the ability to observe multiple parts of the complex Everglades ecosystem.
Half-Day Hike: To access this great spot, you'll have to undertake quite a hike. The tower is located about 7 miles into the Tram Trail, making a round-trip visit nearly 15 miles. Though the going is flat, summer heat and high humidity can make this a serious outing.
Gem Type: Viewpoint