It's true that Miami's affinity for two-wheeled travel pales in comparison to the likes of Portland or any European city. But local bike culture is definitely evolving, and we've got more than our fair share of spots to cycle.
With the totally fantastic weather we've been having lately, there's no better time than now to pump up those tires and wipe the dust off that helmet -- don't let the angry local drivers keep you from free-wheeling. Here are ten of South Florida's best spots to put two wheels down.
10. Biscayne Trail
This 2.7 miler kicks off at the southernmost end of the longer Old Cutler Trail, and weaves its way through residential neighborhoods and tree-shaded streets.
You can pick up the trail at the conclusion of Old Cutler Trail on one end and Black Point Park & Marina at the other.
This nearly nine-mile paved path runs between Black Point Park and Marina and Larry and Penny Thompson Park, by the Miami Metro Zoo. If you're into a longer ride, it also connects to Old Cutler Trail and Biscayne Trail. You can even be on the hunt for manatees, alligators, and birds along the Biscayne Bay stretch.
You can pick up the trail at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.
8. Snake Creek Trail, North Miami Beach and Miami Gardens
This easy-peasy three-mile trail takes a nice tour of the Miami Gardens area, cruising by Greynolds Park, Snake Creek Park, Shenkenberger Park and near the Spanish Monastery Gardens (worth a minor detour).
You can pick up the trail at Diefenbach Bicentennial Park on one end, and Sierra Park on the other.
7. Amelia Trail, Amelia Earhart Park, Hialeah
Another favorite for mountain bikers, this trail is off-road and immersive in local vegetation. Covered by pines and native trees, the path offers sections for everyone from beginner to advanced, so it's an excellent way to spend an afternoon outdoors, regardless of your skill level.
You can pick up the trails inside Amelia Earhart Park. Admission is free, but parking is $7 on the weekends.
6. Oleta River State Park, North Miami Beach
As far as Miami is concerned, Oleta is the Holy Grail of mountain biking locales. With 15 miles of multi-level trails, they have every type of terrain, so beginners and super advanced off-roaders will both feel right at home.
You can pick up the trails inside Oleta River State Park. Admission is $6 per vehicle.
5. Old Cutler Trail, Coral Gables
This tree canopied-trail winds its way through some of the most picturesque parts of Coral Gables, from beneath the banyans on Old Cutler to the ins and outs of Matheson Hammock Park (bike through for a stunning view of Biscayne Bay). Eleven miles long, the ride is a bit bumpy (what with tree roots and all), so it's best for a leisurely pace.
You can pick up the northern trailhead at the traffic circle at Old Cutler Road, Sunset Road, and LeJeune Road in the Gables, and the southern at the junction of SW 87th Avenue and Old Cutler Road in Cutler Bay.
4. Rickenbacker Trail, Key Biscayne
It doesn't get better for bikers than Key Biscayne, though anyone would be wise to stay cautious and always wear a helmet -- it can get more than a little hairy on the causeway. This 8.5 mile trail takes you all the way across the key, from Powell Bridge to Crandon Park to Bill Baggs. It's a heck of a picturesque path.
3. Commodore Trail, Coconut Grove, Miami
This trail takes you on a breezy, lush ride through some of Miami's loveliest areas, from South Miami Avenue to Bayshore Drive, down Main Highway and Douglas Road. It pops by the Museum of Science, Vizcaya, Kennedy Park and Peacock Park, and offers an excellent five-mile survey of Coconut Grove's historic charm.
You can pick up the trail at Wainwright Park at one end and Ingraham Terrace Park at the other.
2. South Pointe Park, Miami Beach
With a 360 degree view of the gorgeous, glittering Atlantic, you'll be hard pressed to find another cycling spot as charming. Bring your own wheels or rent a Deco Bike. Cruise along the water and be thankful (for once) you live where other people vacation.
1. Shark Valley Trail, The Everglades
This 15-mile paved loop is the ultimate escape from Miami madness. The ride takes you deep into the heart of the Everglades, to a lookout tower with a view that's utterly Instagrammable. See gators, grasshoppers and all kinds of fowl along the way.
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You pick up the Shark Valley trail at the Shark Valley Visitor Center. Admission is $10 for a private vehicle, and they offer bike rentals.
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