“An out-and-back run to the camping area on Clubhouse Beach with amazing bird-watching and plant life
— Zander Göpfert
Birding · Swimming · Wildlife
Venture out into the cottonmouths and mangroves on this old marl (crushed coral) roadbed for a chance to camp on the picturesque Clubhouse Beach
. This road was once used by fishermen and cotton pickers to access their fields and fishing holes. Make sure to pick up a permit for overnight camping at the Flamingo Visitor Center and bring enough water for the return journey.
Need to Know
Bring enough water for your journey, the heat and humidity can be dehydrating. The mosquitos are typically bad, plan accordingly with bug spray and long sleeves or mosquito nets. Check with the park rangers before heading out as recent rain can make this trail impassible.
This is one of the best and most accessible opportunities to explore a classic Everglades trail with a beautiful reward waiting at the end. To access this run, head to the Flamingo Visitor Center for an overnight camping permit and park at the west end of the Flamingo Campground Loop.
Take the Coastal Prairie Trail
west as it skirts the edge of a dense hardwood hammock and a sawgrass prairie. Around 1.5 miles in, the trail heads into the forest and will continue to duck in and out of the forest for the next 4.5 miles. At mile 6, the trail bends to left and heads south in the final stretch to the coastline and Clubhouse Beach
What makes this journey truly one to remember is the unobstructed sunset view. Bring a camera and wait for the dramatic colors to emerge as the sun dives behind the horizon.
If you are spending the night (a backcountry permit is required), be sure to explore the beach the next morning before heading back the same way you came.
Flora & Fauna
You may spot herons, storks, egrets, spoonbills, ibis, loons, pelicans, osprey, and many other birds along the way.
History & Background
This trail follows an old road once used by cotton pickers and fisherman.