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Trip report: Nov. 2011

Nine Mile Pond... Paddling in The Everglades

Nine Mile Pond is a 5-mile loop (nine miles was the distance from the old visitor center) through sawgrass prairie, past tree islands and mangrove. Motor craft are prohibited. Canoes can be rented at Flamingo Visitor Center marina where you'll get a key to unlock one where they're stored at Nine Mile Pond. The launch area is flat and open, easy on and off with the parking lot adjacent. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Paddle Everglades, East River, kayak, canoe, Florida

Distance: 5 mile loop, or 3.5 miles if you take the shortcut
Location: Collier County (Everglades National Park)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Tidal: Yes
Launch point: 11 miles north of Flamingo off Main Park Road (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Miami, Miccosukee Indian Reservation

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

Canoes onsite. Register at Flamingo Visitors Center.

Support and Advocacy:

National Park Foundation

South Florida National Parks Trust

Friends of The Everglades

Nine Mile Pond... Comments and Photos

Nine Mile Pond is shallow and impassable in dry season (check with the Park rangers), and crossing the open part when it's windy can be choppy. The mangrove tunnels can be tight, bring a take-apart paddle or canoe paddle. There are no dry areas on this paddling trail to stop and stretch.


Nine Mile Pond

The trail is marked by 116 PVC markers with a shortcut at marker #44 to marker #82. To avoid pushing your way through the "breadsticks" (periphyton) past this point, we recommend taking this shortcut. At the end of the trail and before entering the main pond are two small ponds with excellent bird watching and an alligator or two.


Plants and Wildlife

Wildlife include alligators, turtles, a variety of birds, turtles, and fish - plus, crocodiles can be seen.

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