Snake Bight - Rowdy Bend Loop
ElevationAscent: 10' 3 m
Descent: -9' -3 m
High: 4' 1 m
Low: 1' 0 m
GradeAvg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 0% (0°)
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“This loop heads through mahogany forests and coastal mangroves with lots of wildlife along the way.”— Zander Göpfert
Family Friendly While the full loop might be a bit long for smaller kids, a shuttle or out and back option along the Snake Bight Trail is a good option with plenty to see along the way.
Head out along Snake Bight Trail to the lookout platform at the edge of Snake Bight before backtracking 0.3 miles to head west on the Rowdy Bend Trail through a lush, tropical forest.
Continuing along the trail, note the change in plant life as it transitions from a tropical forest to a coastal prairie filled with buttonwoods and salt hay. These last two miles stretch softly underfoot to a raised boardwalk and observation platform for photos and a prime spot to break out the binoculars and spot a rare but consistent wintertime visitor to this area, the Greater Flamingo.
From the deck, head back the way you came for three-tenths of a mile, looking for an unsigned break in the vegetation to the left marking the Rowdy Bend Trail.
Turn left onto the Rowdy Bend Trail as it heads west on a fairly open, grassy route. The further along you get on this trail, the more overgrown the vegetation becomes, tightening in on the path as it winds through the dense tropical hammock.
Just under three-quarters of a mile from the turn off the Snake Bight Trail, the Rowdy Bend Trail opens into a grass prairie with pockets of water throughout. The trail tread changes according to the predominant plant life, becoming soft under the matted salt hay.
After another mile, the trail bends to the right, heading northwest, re-entering the mahogany woods with knotted roots along the forest floor. Continue on this last mile of the Rowdy Bend Trail before it comes out onto the Main Park Road.
Turn right onto the Main Park Road as it heads back to the Snake Bight Parking Area in 2.7 miles. After a little more than a mile, look to the right-hand side of the road over at Mrazek Pond for another great spot to view wildlife.
As an alternative to hiking along the Main Park Road, leave a second vehicle at the Rowdy Bend Parking Area and shuttle back to the Snake Bight Parking Area.
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ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, History & Background
Land Manager: NPS - Everglades National Park