Here's Why You Need to Take a Motorcycle Ride in the Everglades

Jan 17, 2024

Tags:national parksroutesguidetravelflMotorcycle Rides

abstract picture of a highway running through the everglades in Florida from ground level motorcycle ride through the everglades

In this short guide, we’ll give you a complete overview of what you need to know and can expect when taking a motorcycle ride through the Everglades in southern Florida. Across 1.5 million acres of mangroves and sawgrass marshes through wetlands, you’ll discover everything from beautiful sights to rare and exotic wildlife. 

Best Time to Ride Through the Everglades

The dry season, which is November through late March, is generally the best time for a motorcycle ride through the Everglades. The weather is cooler and less humid, making for a more comfortable ride. There's also less rainfall, so the roads are likely to be dry. The average temperature will hover around 77°F with lows of 53°F.

Looking to see some wildlife? Go Late Dec - Early March

Late December through early March is ideal for wildlife viewing since the dryer conditions cause animals to congregate around water sources. You're more likely to see a variety of birds, alligators, and other wildlife.

Want to beat the crowds? Go November - Early December

If you prefer a quieter experience, weekdays during the dry season (especially November and early December before the holiday rush) can be perfect. The Everglades tend to be less crowded during these times. 

Probably avoid the wet season (April - October)

From April to October, the Everglades experience higher temperatures, increased humidity, and frequent afternoon thunderstorms. While the wet scenery can be lush and vibrant, the conditions might be less than comfortable for riding.

Best Motorcycle Rides Through the Everglades

Tamiami Trail (US Highway 41):

This historic east-west highway runs from Miami to Tampa, crossing the northern part of the Everglades. The section near the Everglades offers beautiful natural scenery and numerous spots to stop and enjoy the view, including airboat tours and wildlife viewing areas.

Best Photo Stops:

  • Shark Valley Observation Tower
  • Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk
  • Ochopee Post Office

panoramic picture of shark valley observation tower everglades in florida best photo stops on motorcycle ride

Loop Road (Big Cypress National Preserve):

A lesser-known but incredibly scenic route, Loop Road takes you deep into the heart of the Everglades. This 24-mile drive is partially paved and partially gravel, offering a closer look at the swampy ecosystem, lush vegetation, and abundant wildlife.

Best Photo Stops:

  • Turner River Trail Boardwalk
  • Oasis Visitor Center
  • Bear Island

Tamiami Trail Bridge over Turner River in Big Cypress National Preserve scenic motorcycle route in the Everglades Florida

Alligator Alley (I-75):

Stretching from Naples on the west coast to Fort Lauderdale on the east coast, this segment of I-75 is known for its straight stretches and views of the Everglades wetlands. There are several rest areas where you can stop to observe wildlife, particularly alligators.

Best Photo Stops:

  • Mile Marker 31 Rest Area
  • Mile Marker 81 Rest Area
  • Alligator Alley Welcome Center

Aerial view of Alligator Alley (I-75) through the Everglades in Florida scenic route for motorcycle rides in Florida

State Road 9336 to Flamingo:

Starting in Florida City, this road leads to Flamingo at the southern tip of the Florida mainland. It's a great route for experiencing the southern Everglades, with chances to see diverse ecosystems and visit the Flamingo Visitor Center.

Best Photo Stops:

  • Snake Bite Trail
  • Nine Mile Pond
  • Flamingo Visitor Center
  • Shark Valley Loop

Picture of a sunrise over Nine Mile Pond Everglades Florida great motorcycle route in Florida

Old Ingraham Highway:

This route, starting from the Royal Palm area in Everglades National Park, offers a historic ride. It’s a less-traveled path that leads to remote areas of the park.

Scenic routes around Everglades City and Chokoloskee:

Aerial picture of Everglade City Florida small town on scenic route through Florida for motorcycle ride

These small towns on the western edge of the Everglades offer a charming starting point for various scenic rides in the area, with a more laid-back, old-Florida atmosphere.

When planning your ride, consider the following tips:

  • Check road conditions in advance, especially for the less-maintained routes.
  • Be prepared for changes in weather and carry sufficient water and sun protection.
  • Respect wildlife and the natural environment of the Everglades.
  • Be aware of speed limits and traffic rules, as law enforcement is active in these areas.

Where to Rent a Motorcycle Near the Everglades

Riders Share offers a unique opportunity to rent a motorcycle at the closest spot to you when you’re in the Everglades. Whether you’re staying in Miami, Naples, or in one of the smaller cities and towns surrounding the Everglades, there’s a motorcycle rental for you. Don’t compromise your ride with an overpriced rental; find the right bike for you and explore everything the Everglades has to offer. 

Make Sure to Stop at These Towns + Pit Stops

Aerial view of Biscayne National Park scenic route for motorcycle ride in Florida

  1. Everglades City: Often considered the gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands, this small town offers access to a variety of outdoor activities, including airboat tours, fishing, and kayaking. The Everglades City area is rich in history and local charm.
  2. Homestead: Located near the eastern entrance of the Everglades National Park, Homestead is a convenient base for exploring both the Everglades and the nearby Biscayne National Park. It has various accommodations and dining options.
  3. Florida City: Adjacent to Homestead, Florida City serves as a starting point for the journey into the Everglades, particularly for those heading to the Anhinga Trail or the Flamingo Visitor Center.
  4. Naples: On the western edge of the Everglades, Naples offers a more upscale experience with fine dining, shopping, and beaches. It’s a great place to relax after a day of exploring the wilderness.
  5. Marco Island: A serene island paradise near the Everglades, Marco Island is known for its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, and opportunities for water sports, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and adventure after a long ride. Make sure to stop in Goodland!
  6. Miami: While not immediately in the Everglades, Miami is a major urban center close to the eastern part of the Everglades. It's ideal for those who prefer urban comforts and wish to make day trips to the park.

Popular Pit Stops and Attractions

Everglades National Park Buttonwood Canal Marina great pit stop while on motorcycle tour through the everglades in florida

  1. Shark Valley Visitor Center: Located along the Tamiami Trail, this visitor center offers tram tours, bike rentals, and a walking trail. The observation tower provides panoramic views of the Everglades.
  2. Miccosukee Indian Village: Learn about the Miccosukee Tribe's history and culture, enjoy airboat rides, and see alligator demonstrations.
  3. Big Cypress National Preserve Oasis Visitor Center: A great spot for wildlife viewing, particularly alligators. The visitor center provides information about the preserve and its inhabitants.
  4. Robert is Here Fruit Stand: A famous landmark in Homestead, known for its fresh fruit, especially locally grown tropical varieties, and delicious milkshakes.
  5. Ernest Coe Visitor Center: Near Homestead, this center is the main visitor facility for the Everglades National Park, offering exhibits, films, and informational brochures.
  6. Flamingo Visitor Center: Located at the end of the main park road in Everglades National Park, this center is a hub for exploring the southern Everglades. It offers boat tours, kayak rentals, and a campground.
  7. Skunk Ape Research Headquarters: A quirky roadside attraction near Ochopee, featuring exhibits on the Florida Skunk Ape (a local version of Bigfoot), wildlife, and the Everglades ecosystem.
  8. Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery: Famous for stunning black and white photographs of the Everglades, Clyde Butcher’s gallery is both inspirational and a testament to the beauty of the area.
  9. Joanie's Blue Crab Cafe: Staple in the Everglades, a cozy eatery offering a variety of fried seafood dishes and a selection of beers, set in a relaxed ambiance with outdoor seating available.

Helpful Resources For Your Ride

Thinking of a Motorcycle Ride in the Everglades?

Riding a motorcycle in the Everglades presents an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature in one of the most unique ecosystems in the United States. As you cruise along the scenic routes, from the historic Tamiami Trail to the remote paths of Old Ingraham Highway, you're not just traversing a landscape; you're immersing yourself in a living, breathing world where every turn brings a new discovery. The Everglades offers a blend of adventure, tranquility, and wildlife that can't be found anywhere else.

As you plan your journey, let this guide lead you to the best routes, times, and stops. Keep safety, respect for the environment, and the spirit of adventure at the forefront of your mind. The Everglades are waiting for you.