Federal Government Shutdown: Where to Snorkel, Kayak, and See Gators Until the National Parks Reopen
If you had grand plans for an Everglades adventure or a killer scuba session in Biscayne National Park this week, think again. Thanks to Congress' inability to get its shit together, non-essential government programs have been shut down as of this morning -- and that includes both Miami-area national parks.
The Everglades: So close, and yet so shut down.
That's bad news for park employees, as well as the private tourist companies who work within the park grounds. But it's not necessarily bad news for you, would-be outdoor explorer. You may not be able to see the 'Glades unique, swampy terrain or Biscayne's protected, but you can still do all the things you had in mind elsewhere in South Florida.
Hiking and Biking
For once, compared to the federal government, the state of Florida looks good. While national parks are closed, state parks like Oleta River State Park in North Miami remain open, with three miles of paved hiking trails and 14 miles of mountain biking trails that wind through dense flora and fauna while still just a stone's throw from FIU and the high rises of Sunny Isles Beach. Maybe you can even find that creepy clown statue that's hidden there. It's almost Halloween, after all.
Oleta River State Park, open daily from 8 a.m to sundown. Admission costs $6 per vehicle. Visit floridastateparks.org/oletariver/default.cfm.