We went to start the more popular Anhinga Trail which starts from Royal Palm Visitor Center in the Everglades National Park when the heat hit us! The trail was so hot in the midday sun.
Luckily, we spotted a nearby paradise: the lush, shaded Gumbo Limbo Trail which also starts from Royal Palm Visitor Center.
Gumbo Limbo Trail
This is not the biggest, the longest or the most well known trail in the Everglades National Park but we loved it!
It was a stunning (shaded) oasis in the middle of hot, exposed wetlands.
About the Gumbo Limbo Trail
The Gumbo Limbo Trail is a very short trail in the Everglades National Park – our favorite National Park in sunny Florida.
It is only 0.4 miles long (600 meters) round trip.
It took us no more than half an hour to complete, stopping to admire the lush forest and take photographs.
It is a walkable trail which is suitable for all age groups.
As we stated above, we particularly liked the trail as it was well shaded. Most trails in the Everglades are not shaded.
Will I see alligators Gumbo Limbo Trail?
While alligators are present all over the Everglades National Park it is more unlikely to see them at the Gumbo Limbo Trail.
If you would like to easily spot an alligator head to the trail next door: the more popular Anhinga Trail
While we did not see alligators on the trail we did see the most beautiful orange butterflies during our short hike.
If you want to see alligators in the wild, you might like to consider doing an airboat tour while in the Everglades.
How do I access Gumbo Limbo Trail?
The trail is 5 minutes down the road from the Ernest F Coe Visitor Center
It is in the same parking lot to the Anhinga Trail, which will take you around 1 hour to complete.
Is there a fee for the hike?
The trail falls within the Everglades National Park which has a $25 per vehicle (weekly) entrance fee.
We decided to purchase the National Park Pass in which you can access all National Parks in the USA for a year for $80 USD (very good value if you ask me!)
What to do next/what is nearby?
The Anhinga Trail is in the exact same area as the Gumbo Limbo Trail (you park in the same carpark to enter)
If you arrive in the heat of the day we would suggest doing the Gumbo Limbo Trail first and then moving on to the Anhinga Trail.
The Everglades is not far from the Florida Keys. If you visit in the morning you can easily still make the scenic drive to Key Largo which has awesome activities including some of the best snorkeling in the US, nice free beaches and yummy Key Lime Pie!
Where to stay in the Everglades?
There are a few campgrounds in which you can camp inside the Everglades. The one with the best rating is Flamingo Campground.
We wanted a little more comfort so opted to stay in the closest town: Homestead.
If you are looking for a nice option in Homestead which won’t break the bank but is very comfortable and clean, check out where we stayed here.