Shark Valley lies in the heart of the “True Everglades,” or river of grass, that stretches 100 miles from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico. Wildlife abounds here where animals share a freshwater ecosystem of sawgrass marsh and tree islands.
If you think you will see sharks here, don’t bother, but if you want to see birds and specially alligators, Shark Valley is the place.
Then, why the name of “Shark Valley”?
Shark Valley is a geological depression at the head of Shark River.
Early settlers saw fins of bull sharks, and thats why they gave that name to the river.
American alligators were once considered almost extinct.By the 1950s, endless hunting had almost wiped out the population. By the 1980s, the population managed to recover; gators were removed from the endangered species list.
Alligators are an awesome Florida symbol, and were can you ride a bike next to an Aligator, only here in Shark Valley. You don’t own a bike, is ok, you can rent them at the visitor center. There you can find the trailhead parking, bike rentals, tram tours, information, snacks and restrooms. The park is open 24 hours a day, but the parking lot closes at 6 p.m.
Providing panoramic 360-degree views of the River of grass, the Shark Valley Observation Tower is accessed from the midpoint of the 15-mile. This flat, paved road is used for tram rides, bicycling, and walking. Below the Observation Tower is a short trail through a tropical hardwood hammock.
Everglades National Park is the most significant breeding ground for wading birds in North America, providing important foraging and breeding habitat for more than 400 species. For sure you won’t miss the big birds like the Great Blue Heron, The Wood Stork and White Ibis.
Shark Valley definitely is worth visiting but before you leave to visit Shark Valley, don’t forget to bring sunscreen with you, there is no shade there.
Bring water, Is Hot and humid during summer. And when you are there, please obey their rules. Those are wild animals, you never know how they will react.
This is a U.S. National park therefore there is an entrance fee. $30 per vehicle and $25 for motorcycles. If you park out on the road and walk in it’s $15 per person over the age of 15. You can buy an annual pass for $55 or a pass to more than 2,000 federal sites for $80.
You won’t be disappointed when you visit Shark Valley. I promise you, you will see the Florida Gator, just be ready for an adventure for you and your family.