Destinations | North America

10 Best Hikes in Miami – From easy walks, to scenic hiking trails

20 Apr 2021 | Destinations, Florida, North America, Outdoors

Miami is known for sandy beaches, amazing weather and celebrity approved resorts and boulevards. But did you know it is also an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise? From easy walks to difficult trails, I have rounded up the best hikes in Miami, which you must explore on your next trip! 

10 Best Hikes in Miami: Walking & Hiking Trails near Miami Florida

Preparing for your hikes in Miami

Miami is located in the state of Florida in the United States. Miami International Airport (or MIA) serves the city, and you can easily find international flights to connect you. The distance from the airport to the downtown area is about 12 minutes by car. 

If this is your first time to Miami, read my Miami 2 day itinerary and guide. 

** Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links which means that purchases made through these links reward Bey of Travel a small commission without any additional charge for the purchaser.** 

2 days in Miami itinerary

To access the National Parks in the USA, there are entrance fees. 

  • The annual entrance pass fee is $80 USD
  • You can purchase seven-day entrance passes start at $20 USD for a private vehicle, $15 USD for a motorcycle, and $8 USD for an individual
  • Visitors under the age of 16 are admitted free
  • If you are a frequent National Parks visitor, I recommend buying the America – The Beautiful Pass to save money. You can buy your 2021/22 pass here online

I have highlighted featured trails in the best hikes in Miami guide, and also provided the distance traveled, miles and elevation gains to help plan your day. As hiking depends on the individual (pace, fit, etc), here is a – calculator, for you to estimate the time it will take you to complete the hike. 

Here are essential tips to prepare for your hike, and items to include in your packing list!

Hiking in the Everglades

What to pack for a hiking trip in Miami? 

  • Water Bottle: Always carry water on your hikes, and stay hydrated. Get this water bottle, and fill it up before your hike. 
  • A daypack: Carry a backpack or shoulder bag to store lunchbox or health/nutrition bars on your hike
  • Hiking Shoes: Wear sturdy shoes for hiking. Do pair your shoes with hiking socks for day all hikes.  
  • Moisture-wicking clothing: Wear clothes that allow you to stay comfortable on your trails. Moisture wicking clothes will keep you dry, when you are out and about. I recommend long sleeves tops, and pants, as it can also protect you from extreme heat (and bugs) in and around Miami hiking trails. 
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket: Bring a light waterproof jacket for earning morning or winter hikes. 
  • Other essentials: Food, quick dry towel, mosquito/bug repellents, sunscreen lotion and deodorant 
  • Camera: Don’t forget to bring your camera on your trails

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Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail – Everglades National Park Hikes

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 50 minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Easy
  • Trail Distance: .40 kilometer (.25 miles) loop
  • Elevation: 0
  • What to expect: Tropical landscape, bird watching, many easy trails are kid friendly
  • National Park fees: Yes

Everglades National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in south Florida. You can visit the Everglades on a day trip from Miami, and go on easy walks to moderate and difficult hikes. 

The park is home to numerous rare and endangered species and protects an unparalleled terrain of wetlands, coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and hundreds of wildlife species.

For easy hikes, hit the Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail, which is a short boardwalk trail leading to a lookout tower with scenic views. The trail is .40 kilometer (or .25 miles). Other easy trails include the West Lake Trail (.5 miles/.80 km), Anhinga Trail (.8 miles/1.2 km), Shark Valley Trail (15.7 miles/25.4 km) to name a few. 

Anhinga Trail is also my favorite. On this trail, you can witness everything that the park is known for, from a varied biodiversity to watching wildlife in their natural habitat.

Read Next: All of the best hikes in the Everglades National Park

Hiking in the Everglades

Biscayne National Park Walk

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 60 minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Easy (and all difficult levels)
  • Trail Distance: 15.9 km (9.87 miles) out and back
  • Elevation: 1 m
  • What to expect: Light traffic, wildlife sightseeing, accessible all year round 
  • National Park fees: Yes

Biscayne National Park is located about an hour away from Downtown Miami. The park is known for its islands, coral reefs and mangrove forests, including sighting of dolphins, turtles and pelicans. 

One of the must do hikes here is the Biscayne National Park Walk, which is a 15.9 kilometer (or 9.87 miles) out and back trail. This is perfect for all skills levels, and is accessible all year round.

Other easy trails include: Jetty Trail (1.3 km/.80 miles), Black Creek Canal (2.7 km/ 1.67 miles). 

Hikes in Miami - Biscayne National Park

Oleta River State Park Trail – Oleta River State Park Hikes

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 30 minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Moderate
  • Trail Distance: 4.8 kilometer (2.98 miles) loop
  • Elevation: 8 metres
  • What to expect: Mangrove forests, walking, biking, hiking trails, bird watching, kayaking
  • National Park fees: NA. $6 per vehicle up to 8 passengers. Single-occupant cars/ motorcycles are $4. Pedestrians on bikes or foot are $2.

Oleta River State Park is perfect for those who don’t wish to venture far away to the national parks. The state is located only 30 minutes away from downtown Miami. 

Oleta River State Park Trail is labeled as a moderate hike. It is a 4.8 kilometer (2.98 miles) loop trail, sprinkled with wild flowers along the way. Dogs are also allowed on this trail, as long as they are kept on leash. 

At the Oleta River State Park, you can also go on a swim after the hike, or kayaking. 

You can embark on easy walking trails and hikes at the state park, and escape the hustle bustle of the city into the forest. There are plenty of biking and hiking trails to keep you busy. Plus you can go bird watching too.

best hikes in Miami - Oleta River State Park

University of Miami Perimeter Path – Miami University Hiking Trails 

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 20+ minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Easy 
  • Trail Distance: 4.5 kilometer (2.7 miles) loop
  • Elevation: 5 m
  • What to expect: Views, close to the city
  • National Park fees: NA

If you prefer city hikes, then the University of Miami Perimeter Path is for you. Located about 20-25 minutes from Downtown Miami, the University is home to a 4.5 kilometer (2.7 miles) moderately trafficked loop trail.

The hike welcomes you to gorgeous views, and is considered as an easy hike for all skill levels.  

The University has over 17 miles of trails in over 1000 acres of land,and they are well marked. You are welcome to bring dogs on hikes, as long as they are kept on a leash. 

Hiking in the Everglades

Snake Creek Hiking Trail

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: Snake Creek State Park. 20+ minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Easy 
  • Trail Distance: 16.3 kilometer (10.12 miles) out and back
  • Elevation: 11 m
  • What to expect: River, urban space connecting various neighbourhoods, easy, family friendly
  • National Park fees: NA

Located minutes away from North Miami Beach is the Snake Creek State Park. The trails in this park are perfect for families and casual hikers. 

Snake Creek Trail is a 16.3 kilometer (10.12 miles) out and back trail, which is good for all skill levels. The hike/walk features a river, and is fully paved. 

You can go hiking and walking through many well integrated trails, including connecting to North Miami Beach and Miami Gardens. These trails are open for walking, running, road biking, and mountain biking. Dogs are also allowed here, but must be on a leash.

Historic Virginia Key Beach Loop

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 20 minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Easy 
  • Trail Distance: 4 kilometer (2.4 miles) loop
  • Elevation: 4 m
  • What to expect: Wildlife, closest to downtown Miami. Historic route. Free Eco tours on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 10am & 2pm
  • National Park fees: NA. Weekends and Holidays $8 per vehicle (car/motorcycle), and Weekdays $5 per vehicle. 

Located near Key Biscayne and close to downtown Miami is the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. It is an urban park featuring hiking trails, picnic tables, and wetlands. 

At the park, you can embark on an easy trail of 4 kilometer or 2.4 miles called the Historic Virginia Key Beach Loop. This trail is perfect if you wish to see wildlife near the city center. 

Hikes in Miami

Robin’s Birding Trail and Bill Baggs Lighthouse Loop – Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 20 minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Easy 
  • Trail Distance: 4.8 kilometer (2.98 miles) loop
  • Elevation: 3 m
  • What to expect: Historic lighthouse, wildlife, views
  • National Park fees: NA. Fees are $8/vehicle or $4 for single occupant vehicles. Visitors entering on foot or bike have to pay $2. You can also buy the Florida State Parks Annual Pass for $60/individual or $120/family.

Located near Key Biscayne is the Bill Baggs Cape State Park. At the park you can enjoy an easy trail of 4.8 km (2.98 miles) called the Robin’s Birding Trail and Bill Baggs Lighthouse Loop. 

This route features wildlife, mangrove wetlands and also welcomes you to a historic 1825 Cape Florida Lighthouse. The hike is perfect for all skill levels, and is also used for running, and bird watching.

Best Hikes in Miami

Fairchild Botanical Garden Loop

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 20 minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Easy
  • Trail Distance: 2.7 kilometer (1.6 miles) loop
  • Elevation: 6 m
  • What to expect: Walking, running, nature trips, and bird watching 
  • National Park fees: NA. Fairchild Members Free. Adults $24.95. Child (6-17) $11.95. Students (with valid ID) $15.95. Seniors (65 and over) $17.95. In-Garden tram rides Free.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is one of the popular attractions in Florida. Located near South Miami (Coral Gables) on a sprawling complex with lush green space, rainforests and coastal habitat, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a nice oasis for nature lovers.

At the Botanical Garden you can go on a 2.7 kilometer (1.6 miles) loop trail that features wildflowers, greenery and well paved walkways. 

The trail is suitable for all skill levels, and is accessible year-round.

best hikes in Miami

Old Cutler Trail – Matheson Hammock Park 

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 30 minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Easy
  • Trail Distance: 41.7 kilometer (25.91 miles) out and back
  • Elevation: 48 m
  • What to expect: Historic route, hiking/biking trails 
  • National Park fees: NA. Entrance fees are $5.00 per car

Located in Matheson Hammock Park is the Old Cutler Trail. It is an easy out and back trail of 41.7 kilometer or 25.91 miles, offering scenic views, and glimpses of south Florida’s iconic mansions.

The Old Cutler Trail follows the historic Old Cutler Road, and cuts through residential areas lining the original wilderness path and wagon route, dating back to the mid 1800s. 

The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and road biking. Dogs are also allowed at the park/trail but must be kept on leash.

Matheson Hammock park surrounds the north and western ends of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Hikes in Miami

Bear Island Mountain Bike Loop – Big Cypress National Preserve Hikes

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 1 hour 30 minutes by road
  • Difficulty levels: Moderate (+ easy hike recommendation below)
  • Trail Distance: 32.7 kilometer (20.31 miles) out and back
  • Elevation: 22 m
  • What to expect: Guided tours & related activities, swampy areas
  • National Park fees: There are no entrance fees. Fees are only collected within the national preserve for some facilities and the processing of off-road vehicle permits.

Big Cypress National Preserve is located about an hour and half from Miami, and it is home to a myriad of activities from star gazing (a dark sky preserve), swamp buggy, to canoeing, kayaking and of course hiking. 

Big Cypress borders Everglades National Park to the south, and other state and federally protected cypress country on the west side.

Most of the trails here are labelled as moderate by AllTrails. Bear Island Mountain Bike Loop is a 32.7 kilometer (20.31 miles) out and back trail located near Immokalee. You will encounter a certain segment of the trail where it has knee deep or more swamp water. 

This trail is primarily used for camping and mountain biking and is accessible year-round.

One of the epic trails here is the Florida Trail, which takes about 60 to 90 days to complete. It is one of eleven National Scenic Trails in the USA, and runs 1,000 miles, with 300 miles planned, from Big Cypress National Preserve to Fort Pickens at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

read next | two DAYS IN MIAMI

hikes in miami

Kirby Storter Roadside Park Trail 

  • Distance from Miami Downtown: 1 hour 30 minutes by road to Big Cypress National Preserve 
  • Difficulty levels: Easy
  • Trail Distance: 1.3 kilometer (.80 miles) loop
  • Elevation: 0 m
  • What to expect: Guided tours & related activities, swampy areas
  • National Park fees: There are no entrance fees. Fees are only collected within the national preserve for some facilities and the processing of off-road vehicle permits.

Kirby Storter Roadside Park trail is one of the easiest trails at the Big Cypress National Preserve. It is a 1.3 kilometer (.80 miles) loop trail located near Ochopee. It is best used from December to March for hiking. 

I hope you found this post useful in planning your next hiking adventure near Miami. When ready, don’t forget to apply sunscreen, and wear comfortable shoes!

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Best hikes in Miami

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