Everglades Exploration Network

Can one ride a straight up road bike on this road?

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I think you want at least a hybrid.
I road the Old Ingraham Hwy last year. You need at bike with wide tires at least. I road my hardtail trail bike (front suspension only).The road gets pretty rough the farther down it you get, ruts and holes.I think it would be way to rough for a road bike.
then you add a canoe/kayak trailer to your bike and away you go!
If you mean skinny tires I would suggest you try the Shark Valley Trail. My wife and I (61 and 63) did the Old Ingraham Road as far as the first camp site this past spring and thoroughly enjoyed it. We have 2.25 inch tires and had no problems.
Tom Caldwell and I did the whole length last winter and thought it was great. If you are careful and walk when it gets a bit dodgy I think you could do it with a street bike. Go slow and enjoy

Make this a great day

Bill Dishong
It's a relatively easy trek on anything but a racing bike with skinny tires. The Long Pine Key Nature Trail that runs from Gate 4 to Pine Glades Lake at Gate 8 on Long Pine Key is far more interesting. Turn left at the Long Pine Key campground road and look for Gate 4 on your right. Before going, stop by the Ernest Coe Visitor Center and ask the desk personnel for a copy of the map to the Long Pine Key Hiking and Biking Trails.

Went for a nice ride this afternoon. Scouting for a landing from the Taylor Slough Route.

Trail was pretty nice, muddy, fun, and pretty slick in the muddy spots, high & dry in between (most of the trail).

It looks pretty thick & hard to reach down at the curve before the coe campground (where you can see the picture link west of the curve). A campground approach looks totally out of the question, it's a cypress forest in a box. Has anyone hiked or paddled the area by the camp or the bend in the trail?

From the trail, it looks much deeper and approachable up near the gate. But that might just be the high water and it also looks like it was scraped near the road on the GE so it might be less hospitable farther east. It is pretty far between the trail & the road at that point. It's a bit over 1 mile @ the bend and over a mile & a half up by the gate, both as the crow flies, which ain't how it would have to be paddled.

Has anyone paddled in between? Paddled east of the highway or west of the airboat trail?

You could definitely ride it with a regular road bike. Last summer I rode down to the Ernest Coe campsite with my road bike. I had to turnaround due to a fading light and not having lights on my bike so I can't say that that applies for certain for the whole length. But with that being said my "regular road bike" might be a bit different then most regular road bikes as it's a full blown cyclocross race bike designed for racing across muddy fields and rough gravel roads like the C111 canal and the bike trails out by Turkey point. I also race road, cyclocross and mountain bikes so i'm rather comfortable with my bike handling skills. With that being said some people might prefer a hardtail for this trail. Otherwise id just watch out for the potholes and be ready to bunny hop them.

Charlie, where have you been?   Look at the water at the Paradise Key station:

http://sofia.usgs.gov/eden/eve/index.php?timeseries_start=2015-10-0...[]=R127&water_level=stage&day_hour=daily&rainfall=rainfall&et=et&graph=graph&max=5&dry=dry&hydrograph_query=Update+Selection

The Ernest Coe - Taylor Slough connection would be a really nice prize and I don't think it would be too hard to do,

it's only 3/4 of a mile in a straight line between the Zig-Zag and the camp.   Two ways to probe this:   During high

water come up from the Zig-Zag.   Using a day to paddle down, map it, and return would be a long day

but very do-able.   It would also allow surveying that blue line in the below map which we're always hesitant to

do on a through trip because of time.   There's a lot of sparse spike rush on that side of

the Zig-Zag.  The other way would be during the driest months bike down to the camp

then walk over to the Zig-Zag.  This has the benefit of locating the best paddle route when the water is low.

Something is going on between the old road and the Zig-Zag because there's a PVC Pipe approximately in the

location shown on the map.   You can see it when you paddle through the Zig-Zag.  I wonder if the main ditch

is somewhat usable, it's plenty deep enough where you crossover on the Taylor Slough Canoe Trail, just grown

over when you look north toward the camp.   Anyway, plenty of good old exploring to do and conveniently a one-day

probe should knock this out.



yakmaster said:

Went for a nice ride this afternoon. Scouting for a landing from the Taylor Slough Route.

Trail was pretty nice, muddy, fun, and pretty slick in the muddy spots, high & dry in between (most of the trail).

It looks pretty thick & hard to reach down at the curve before the coe campground (where you can see the picture link west of the curve). A campground approach looks totally out of the question, it's a cypress forest in a box. Has anyone hiked or paddled the area by the camp or the bend in the trail?

From the trail, it looks much deeper and approachable up near the gate. But that might just be the high water and it also looks like it was scraped near the road on the GE so it might be less hospitable farther east. It is pretty far between the trail & the road at that point. It's a bit over 1 mile @ the bend and over a mile & a half up by the gate, both as the crow flies, which ain't how it would have to be paddled.

Has anyone paddled in between? Paddled east of the highway or west of the airboat trail?

Does anyone know the history of that squared out area between the EC campsite and the zig zag?

I guess it has some agricultural background but the different sizes of the blocks, and the incomplete roadbeds/ canals sure makes it curious!

BTW I hiked out to EC and camped last winter to try out a new backpack. Pretty sure I was visited by a panther during the night... even found some prints but the photos came out crappy due to the morning dew on lense.

All of that area was farmed before the park was around and much of it after the park opened. The northern part of the road and the areas north and south of the research road were farmed up to the 1970's and when abandoned went to Brazilian pepper. They have since learned that if you scrape it down to caprock, it returns to native, pretty much on its own. You can see the piles of the scraped topsoil in a variety of mounds in the area.

I want to say that the farm at the southern end was called Madeira Farms, but Google is trying to tell me I'm wrong, but doesn't come up with anything different. If you look on GE the disturbed areas go east of the bend as well and you can see evidence of tilled areas sporadically south of the road all the way to the new road.

If I remember correctly you can find discussion of these farms in Gladesman and Dredgemen of Cape Sable.

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