Rowdy Bend Trail, Rowdy Bend Trailhead, Everglades National Park, Florida
Rowdy Bend Trail - 5.2 miles
Rowdy Bend Trailhead
(GPS: N 25 10.504 W 80 54.298)
|Round-Trip Length:||5.2 miles (5.8 miles roundtrip if you continue south to the end of the Snake Bight Trail)|
|Start-End Elevation:||3' - 3'|
|Elevation Change:||Nominal Elevation Change|
Rowdy Bend Trail - 5.2 Miles Round-Trip
The Rowdy Bend Trail is a backcountry trail located just 3 miles north of the Flamingo Visitor Center in Everglades National Park. The trail can be biked or hiked and leads through a healthy coastal prairie on its way to the trail's terminus with the Snake Bight Trail.
Leaving from the trailhead off the main road, the trail starts on a wide path heading into a thick buttonwood forest. After a few hundred feet, bear right through an old gate to remain on the hiking trail.
The trail initially heads in a southeast direction and is immersed in a thick, green canopy of tropical and subtropical growth. Rowdy Bend is a backcountry trail and the park does make an effort to keep the trail cleared. However, Everglades National Park has no trail crew dedicated to the job. Instead, they rely on volunteers, as well as on the fire and maintenance crews to fill in.
Due to its backcountry nature, the trail is lined with significant overgrowth which gives cover to wildlife and adds to the feeling of solitude.
At .9 miles, the trail opens up to reveal a wide coastal prairie to the north. As the trail bends east, the prairie views become more grand. At about 1.3 miles, keep an eye out for an Osprey nest built on top of a headless palm tree. Osprey prefer to return to the same nest year after year and often mate for life.
The trail continues to follow an overgrown access road and at 2.6 miles, it reaches its terminus with the Snake Bight Trail. Those who have more time can turn right at this split and hike another .3 miles to the Snake Bight lookout point. Snake Bight is a small bay within the larger Florida Bay and plays home to alligators, crocodiles, wading birds, and wintering shorebirds. If you are lucky you may spot a bald eagle or peregrine falcon. If you are luckier still you could see a Caribbean Flamingo. Paddlers and boaters venture into the inches-deep waters of Snake Bight at high tide.
The Rowdy Bend Trail can also be linked with the Snake Bight Trail to form a longer biking or hiking route. See related trails above for the Snake Bight Trail.
- N 25 10.504 W 80 54.298 — Rowdy Bend Trailhead
- N 25 10.464 W 80 54.227 — Bear right to remain on Rowdy Bend Trail
- N 25 10.865 W 80 52.457 — Rowdy Bend Trail - Snake Bight Trail split (end Rowdy)
- N 25 10.475 W 80 52.434 — Snake Bight Overlook (past end of Rowdy)
- This is an excellent bird watching trail. Located about halfway into the hike, look out for an Osprey nest to the north of the trail
- Biking is permitted on this trail and a longer bike route can be created by linking up with the Snake Bight Trail. Both trails are easy to bike
- Shortly past the trailhead, make sure to bear right at the old gate and hiker sign to ensure you remain on the Rowdy Bend Trail
- While the Rowdy Bend Trail officially ends at the intersection with the Snake Bight Trail, you can turn right at the intersection and hike a short distance to shores of Snake Bight within Florida Bay
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Camping is not permitted on the Rowdy Bend Trail.
- There is no fishing on the Rowdy Bend Trail.
Rules and Regulations
- Parking is permitted on the side of the road. Parking at the trailhead is limited so arrive early for a good space.
- Biking is permitted on this trail but motor vehicles of any kind of strictly prohibited
- This is considered a 'backcountry' trail by park officials. While the park makes an effort to maintain this trail, there is no dedicated crew for the job. Call ahead for potential closures or other possible trail hazards. The park relies on volunteers, as well as fire and maintenance to maintain and clear backcountry trails. The park does maintain boardwalk and nature / interpretive trails
- Permits are required for backcountry camping
- Disturbing wildlife is illegal and violators are harshly punished
Directions to Trailhead
The Rowdy Bend Trailhead is located three miles (5 km) north of the Flamingo Visitor Center on the main park road. Park on the side of the road near the well marked Rowdy Bend Trail sign.
Everglades National Park
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034-6733