Everglades Exploration Network

Being a water traveler I rarely hike the tourist trails out of Flamingo. This weekend was so windy we decided to bike and hike the main trails, Snake Bight, Rowdy Bend and Christian Point.  While on the Snake Bight trail I noticed a side trail across the creek that leads to what is the Crocodile Point trail.  Looking at my topo map I see that it would be a great backpacking trail or would have been many years ago.  It is apparently closed off and I found this on another site that describes the hike along the Snake Bight trail:

You pass a land bridge that leads to the old Crocodile Point trail system, no longer used due to the dense growth of poisonous manchineel trees through the forest. Better you stay to the beaten path.

I know this is the a great place to ask this question given the wide range of people crazy enough to explore off trail.  So...why wouldn't this be a really good trail to keep open and maintained to have available for an overnight backpacking trip??  Who has walked this trail in the past?

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I have looked into doing this trail. The main obstacle is the impasse at Alligator Creek. The creek is too wide and deep to step across and the reptiles make it a no-go for wading/swimming across. If there was a means of crossing that didn't require a boat, I think it is doable. The terrain should be similar to the Coastal Prairie Trail as it is mainly marl prairie covered with purslane and some grass. As for the manchineel trees, I would certainly wear long sleeves and avoid going after or during a rain as the raindrops contacting the posionous bark/resin can cause skin rashes and even blindness if you got some in your eyes. However, machineel has historically grown along the coast in that area and the path was in use for many years as a route for government contractors to access the area to eradicate wild cotton that was said to be spreading a blight which was believed to threaten the domestic cotton industry. The fact that the trail is not used anymore and no one is clearing trees (or can) probably means that the overgrowth is pretty gnarley in sections. One would need to be able to positively identify poisonwood and manchineel and steer clear of those trees. Other than that, I think it looks to be an interesting adventure. 

If anyone ends up doing this one, please do post a report.

This is right up my alley. I'll have to recon it some more.

The Crocodile Point trail system is on old USA Topo maps (below), and traces of it are still visible on GE, but given that it's been closed for however many decades now, I imagine the wooded parts between Snake Bight Trail and Alligator Creek are impassable.

However, the terrain between Alligator Creek and Crocodile Point looks like open marl prairie. If that's the same terrain as the prairie north of Alligator Creek, that's very doable. I only see one narrow stream crossing near the center of the Lungs.

The distance from Alligator Creek to Crocodile Point is just under six miles—a solid day hike out and back. Note also there used to be a campsite about a mile west of the old terminus.

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