Wild South Florida — Naturally Wild
 
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The Ultimate Guide to the Outdoors and Environment in Broward, Collier, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties.
   
Almanac Places to Visit
     
 
 
 
Oleta River State Park
coral bean
oleta river scene
oleta river scene
oleta river scene
 

3400 NE 163rd Street
North Miami

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When the first European landed at the Oleta River, they found bears, wolves and panthers. These days, you might find a few Panthers fans (as in nearby FIU) there, but the odds on finding the real thing, let alone a wolf or a bear, are about zilch. Still, Oleta River State Park is welcome slice of wilderness in an otherwise highly urbanized corner of Miami-Dade County. In fact, it is Florida's largest urban state park, covering 1,032 acres along the Oleta River and Biscayne Bay.

You can bike the park, you can hike the park or you can take a kayak or a canoe through it. There 14 miles of bike trails, including three miles that are paved, plus natural surface hiking trails. The trails are easy walks, with interpretive signs about particular species and ecosystems along the way. The signs are a bit faded, however, and difficult to read. There's also camping, swimming, fishing and picknicking within the park.

Plants spotted include lantana, tamarind, black, white and red mangrove, acacia, painted leaf, coral bean, buttonwood, seagrape, gumbo limbo, sea daisy and coontie. We did see quite a few zebra longwing butterflies and a white checkered butterfly. Birds included cardinal, red-bellied woodpecker, mockingbirds and grackles. We got a glimpse of a snake. Note: if you plan to visit and use Google for directions, ignore the turn onto NE 151st Street and take 163rd instead. The entrance to the park is about a mile east of Biscayne Boulevard. There is no access via 151st.


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More Resources for Oleta River State Park
institute for Regional Conservation Plant Inventory     Friends of Oleta River State Park
 
Photo Gallery for Oleta River State Park
white checkered butterfly red flowers on shrub fleabane yellow flowers
woodpecker zebra longwing butterfly sea daisy
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.