Main Park Road (Part 1)
The Main Park Road in Everglades National Park is the continuation of FL-9336 within the park boundaries. This is the first part, starting at the park boundary as the highway leaves the agricultural area of south Florida behind, and ending at Nine Mile Pond. For the second part, to the road’s end at Flamingo Campground, see Main Park Road Part 2.
Mile 0 – Park Entrance
FL-9336 enters the park at the entrance sign.
Mile 0.4 – Ernest Coe Visitor Center
A spur road to the right gives access to the Ernest Coe Visitor Center. This is the first, and only source of information until the end of the road, 39 miles away. A half mile beyond the visitor center the road passes through the entrance station. The park entrance fee must be paid or a valid pass shown.
Mile 2.6 – Royal Palm Road
The turnoff to Royal Palm is on the left. This road ends at a parking area for the Anhinga Trail, one of the must-do walks in the park. Rangers frequently lead hikes on this trail during the busy season. In the dry season, wildlife, including an amazing number of alligators and birds, cover this area. For more information, see Everglades Hiking Trails.
Mile 5.0 – Long Pine Key Road
A side road goes off to the left. This provides access to the Long Pine Key area, including a picnic area and the Long Pine Key Campground. See Everglades Camping for more on the campground.
Mile 7.0 – Pine Land
A turnoff on the right quickly leads to the parking area for the Pinelands Trail. This short trail winds through the pine forest that inhabits the “highlands” of the Everglades, typically a few feet above sea level.
Mile 11.7 – Rock Reef Pass
A sign along the road indicates the crossing of Rock Reef Pass. Of course, passes are a little different here than in the mountains; the elevation is 3 feet.
Mile 13.2 – Pa-hay-okee Overlook
A side road on the right leads to the Pa-hay-okee area. The Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail leads to an elevated view of the surrounding area. This is considered one of the finest vista points in the park.
Mile 14.7 – Dwarf Cypress Forest
Another sign along the road indicates the Dwarf Cypress Forest. This time the elevation is a whopping 4 feet.
Mile 20.2 – Mahogany Hammock
A side road on the right leads to the parking area for the Mahogany Hammock Trail. This short hike leads through a hammock, a small, wooded area favored by the mammals of the park. For more on the trail, see Everglades Hiking Trails.
Mile 24.7 – Paurotis Pond
The parking area for Paurotis Pond is on the right. This area is a favorite of photographers and birdwatchers.
Mile 26.7 – Nine Mile Pond
The road passes by Nine Mile Pond on the left. This pond is large enough to be considered a small lake, and is another good location for birdwatching.
The Main Park Road Continues On
For the second half of the Main Park Road, from Nine Mile Pond to the end of the road at Flamingo Campground, go to Main Park Road Part 2.