Did you know that Miami has a whopping 800 parks? The sun-soaked city is a nature lover’s paradise. On top of the small local green spaces, it is the only city in the US nestled in the middle of two national parks. Between Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park, along with the lush parks that dot the urban landscapes, you could spend weeks just walking through the park.
Miami and its surrounding areas have a vast network of parks and trails suited for every type of activity. These range from urban parks for city dwellers, to National and State Parks.
Whether you are in the mood for a scenic walking path within the city, a perfect beachfront stroll, or the untouched wilderness of the Everglades, there is no shortage of options!
Here is a roundup of some of the best recreational parks, hiking trails, and outdoor activities in Miami.
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Planning a trip to Miami? Here are a few other resources you might find helpful:
Unique National Parks in Miami
The subtropical climate of South Florida is one of a kind in the United States. Because of this, there are a few world-renowned National Parks located in the South Florida area that can’t be missed.
1. Shark Valley Visitor Center – Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical national park in the United States. It’s a vast nature preserve that is home to rare and endangered species like the American crocodile, manatee, and American panther.
There are several ways to explore the Everglades; my favorite by far is biking the 15-mile (25 km) Shark Valley trail.
Flanked by leafy marshlands on both sides, the trail makes for a scenic and exciting ride, with plenty of slow-moving creatures including alligators, passing and wading alongside the path. You’ll also see beautiful birds, river otters, turtles, manatees, and exotic greenery.
The trail can be done on foot, but there are two short walking paths right off the main trail for those wanting a slightly less strenuous trek.
The Everglades is a wetland, be sure to use DEET-free bug repellent (like these) to protect yourself against mosquitoes and other biting insects, particularly in the summer months.
Recommended South Florida outdoor essentials:
2. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is unique because most of it is, in fact, underwater. It draws people for its coral reef snorkeling, swimming, and boating, as well as for the mangrove forest along its shores.
You’ll find unique, preserved features here, including seagrass beds, sponges, and endangered cacti. Don’t miss the opportunity to snorkel in this famous National Park!
You can take half-day or full-day tours by either powerboat or sailboat. Most tour groups will take you up close to the edges of the mangrove islands, where you might see dolphins, sea turtles, or rays, along with a multitude of tropical fish.
Biscayne National Park is located at 9700 SW 328th St, Homestead, FL 33033
2023 U.S. National Parks Free Entrance Days:
Most of U.S. National Parks have a nominal entrance fee. However, I did some research and found free entrance days at the U.S. National Parks. Take a look at the dates 2023 below, and be sure to take advantage!
- January 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- April 22: First Day of National Park Week
- August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors
- September 23: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Other fun outdoor Miami activities to add to your itinerary:
State Parks for Water Activities
3. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is famous for being the first undersea park in the United States. This spectacular state park consists of about 70 nautical square miles of mangrove forests and coral reefs.
Many visitors like to take in the natural beauty from a glass-bottom boat. Still, my favorite way to experience the park is by snorkeling, where you’re sure to see elaborate coral, seahorses, sponges, and other protected sea creatures.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, take the opportunity to kayak or canoe among the mangrove swamp.
Although more geared toward water activities, there are three different short trails within the park: the Mangrove Trail, Wild Taramind Trail, and Grove Trail. But note, bicycles are not permitted on the trails.
With the nature trails, kayaking, and other water activities, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a great day outdoors, but make sure to protect yourself from the South Florida sun by regularly applying sunscreen.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is located at 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
More ways to enjoy Miami outdoors:
4. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Located right along Biscayne Bay, Cape Florida is the historical site of the oldest structure in Miami-Dade, Cape Florida Lighthouse, guiding seafarers safely to harbor. The site also holds historical significance in Miami’s Black History, as an official National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
Nowadays, you can join short guided tours up to the lighthouse (and historic keeper’s cottage) for magnificent views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.
Spanning almost a third of Island Key Biscayne, this park draws people for snorkeling, boating, and swimming along the sandy beach. Explore this Miami park on foot, by bicycle, or even by kayak.
For more on the history of Cape Florida and the Cape Florida Lighthouse, check out Key Biscayne: A History of Miami’s Tropical Island and the Cape Florida Lighthouse.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is located at 1200 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Miami Parks: Off-Road Bicycle Trails
5. Oleta River State Park
Oleta River State Park is the largest urban state park in Florida; this massive green space was once home to the Tequesta Indians.
Many visitors choose to kayak or canoe among the mangroves, and the monthly full moon kayak tour is a popular date night activity in Miami for couples. There is also an extensive network of hiking trails and a favorite spot for off-road bicycle trails for beginners and pros.
Oleta River State Park is located at 3400 NE 163rd St, Golden Beach, FL 33160
6. Amelia Earhart Park
Amelia Earhart Park is full of recreational offerings and well worth a visit! Spanning over 500 acres, you’ll find five lakes, a small farm complete with a petting zoo, a skateboard park, extensive mountain bike trails, and even a 5-acre dog park.
Its eight miles of bike trails, suitable for riders of all skill levels, have been created explicitly with mountain biking in mind, so bring your bike or rent one onsite starting at $25.
Amelia Earhart Park is located at 401 E 65th St, Hialeah, FL 33013
Urban Parks in Miami for Working Out
7. David T. Kennedy Park
Located just minutes away from downtown Coconut Grove, David T. Kennedy Park is 20 acres of beautiful bayfront space, as well as old tropical trees and waterfront views.
In addition to the natural beauty, there is also a rubber asphalt running path, outdoor exercise stations, and an outdoor gym. The park also has a dog park, a children’s playground, and a few sand volleyball courts.
While in this park, any local will insist that you try A.C.’s Icees frosted lemonade stand. The iconic stand has been in operation in the park since 1978 and is a must.
Greynolds Park is located at 2400 S Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL 33133
8. Margaret Pace Park
This urban park located on Biscayne Bay is a great place to take advantage of Miami’s year-round ability to work out outside. There are tennis courts, outdoor fitness equipment, basketball courts, and volleyball courts that can be reserved if needed. There is also a dog park, playground, and picnic areas, making this a great park to suit the needs of the locals.
Margaret Pace Park is located at 1745 N Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL 33132
Miami Parks for Photos and Special Occasions
9. Greynolds Park
This former limestone rock quarry is now a 265-acre urban park with access to miles of nature trails. It features a bike path, golf course, boating facilities, picnic areas, playground, sand volleyball courts, and an interpretive center offering guided tours. On the weekends, rent a kayak or paddleboard and enjoy the calm waters. Just keep an eye out for iguanas!
Parking at Greynolds Park is free on weekdays and costs $7 on weekends. If traveling on foot or by bike, there is no cost for admission.
Greynolds Park is located at 17530 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach, FL 33160
10. Matheson Hammock Park
Just south of Coral Gables, the 630-acre Matheson Hammock Park looks like something out of a vintage film set. Aside from sprawling lawns and shady trees, you’ll find mangrove forests, a swamp ecosystem, nature and bike trails, boating facilities, and a restaurant nestled into a historic building.
The refreshing sea breeze and sprawling views of Biscayne Bay make it a popular weekend picnic destination. Parking costs $5 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays.
Matheson Hammock Park is located at 9610 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156
Waterfront Parks for Romantic Strolls
11. Bayfront Park
Another urban park located right in Downtown Miami, is an impressive 32-acre park space along Biscayne Bay.
From the accessible “yoga in the park” program to the open-air pavilion showcasing concerts, this is a remarkable urban space. It’s an excellent place for a stroll, picnic, or access to the nearby restaurants and cafes, and spectacular Biscayne Bay views.
Bayfront Park is located at 301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
12. Maurice A. Ferre Park
Also known as Museum Park, this area is a 30-acre urban park located in downtown Miami. It’s surrounded by cultural hotspots like the American Airlines Arena — home of the Miami Heat, as well as the Pérez Art Museum Miami, and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.
The park is located right on the waterfront and includes a boardwalk that you can stroll along as you visit the museums in the area.
Maurice A. Ferre Park is located at 1075 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
13. South Pointe Park
South Pointe Park is an urban park and pier that stretches out into the cove along the southernmost tip of South Beach. It’s a great place to catch the sweeping seascapes or relax with the family. It features a beautiful grassy area, walking paths, an ocean-themed children’s playground, and of course, a long stretch of sandy beach.
Enjoy the quaint, limestone boardwalk along the beach at this 17-acre park, or watch the cruise ships sail from PortMiami. Bike, skateboard, rollerblade, enjoy views of the city while picnicking in the park, or simply visit the observation deck for a truly breathtaking view.
South Pointe Park is located at 1 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
14. Lummus Park
Lummus Park, is located within the Art Deco Historic District, and adjacent to Miami’s legendary Ocean Drive.
Stretching along the eastern coast of South Beach, this gently winding park is 74 acres of seaside paradise and a bucket list must for many visiting Miami. Lummus Park is a great place to stroll the sandy shores, check out the brightly colored lifeguard towers, or bike along the boardwalk under the sweeping palms.
Driving and parking in this popular area can be stressful, so it’s best to walk, bike, or grab a cab if heading along this stretch.
Lummus Park is located at 1130 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Miami Family-Friendly Picnic & Beach Parks
15. Crandon Park
Across the Rickenbacker Causeway, you will discover the delights of Key Biscayne. Crandon Park Beach attracts many because of its family-friendly facilities and miles of uninterrupted shores.
Adjacent to the Crandon Nature Park and Bear Cut Preserve, the Crandon Park offers countless views of the Miami skyline from its nature trails. But be sure to include the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center to see the only fossilized reef in the United States.
Crandon Park is located at 6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
16. Bear Cut Nature Preserve
Bear Cut Nature Preserve has a waterfront path perfect for light hiking. The pathway takes you under a canopy of tropical trees and finishes at an overlook on the Bay. From here, you can see a fossil reef with a spectacular view of downtown in the backdrop.
The best place to start your hike is at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Nature Center, where you can choose from multiple trails. With a total of 2.2 miles of trails with different loop options, You can’t go wrong!
Bear Cut Nature Preserve is located at 6767 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
17. Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
Located on Key Biscayne off of mainland Miami, this historic beach park offers hiking trails, as well as facilities for day-trip visitors.
Encompassing over 800 acres of Florida natural beauty, you’ll find colorfully-painted cottages, walking paths, wetlands, and concession booths.
For more on Virginia Key Beach Park significance in South Florida’s history, be sure to pick up a copy of White Sand Black Beach: Civil Rights, Public Space, and Miami’s Virginia Key
Historic Virginia Key Beach Park is located at 4020 Virginia Beach Dr, Miami, FL 33149
18. Homestead Bayfront Park
One of the most popular Miami outdoor activities in Homestead Bayfront Park is to hop on a boat shuttle that will take you to Elliott Key. This small island is popular for day trips and also offers the opportunity to camp overnight.
Homestead Bayfront Park is located at 9698 SW 328th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Miami Running Routes & Bike Trails
19. Rickenbacker Trail
Rickenbacker Trail is an 8.5 mile stretch from the southern tip of Miami to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It’s mostly paved road and hugely popular with bicyclists and inline skaters. Because it spans the entirety of Key Biscayne and ends near Downtown Miami, it’s the perfect pathway to admire the area’s landscape.
Rickenbacker Trail is located at Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
20. Commodore Trail
Commodore Trail is a 5-mile path through Miami’s iconic Coconut Grove neighborhood. Along the way, you’ll come past some of Miami’s most famous landmarks, including the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Peacock Park, and the Barnacle Historic State Park. Note, some parts of the trail run parallel to the road, so be sure to pay attention to all trail signs.
Commodore Trail is located at Commodore Plaza, Miami, FL 33133
21. Old Cutler Trail
The Old Cutler Trail is an extended 11-mile path that meanders through some of Miami’s most lush neighborhoods. Although the trail is mostly paved, some parts have been affected by tree roots. So take care when navigating the path.
Old Cutler Trail is located at Old Cutler Rd, Palmetto Bay, FL
22. Biscayne Trail
The Biscayne Trail is a 2.7 mile stretch of paved trail, perfect for biking, inline skating, or walking. The trail winds through residential areas, which lead through lush and tree-lined streets. The end of the trail opens up to the Black Point Park & Marina, which has excellent areas for picnicking.
Biscayne Trail is located at Biscayne Trail, Homestead, FL 33032
More outdoor essentials:
Featured Miami Parks Map
As with any outdoor activities, remember to exercise the appropriate amount of caution, especially when enjoying the Miami sun! The tropical conditions require that you bring sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and wear a wide brim hat as protection from the powerful rays.