The Place to Share
Canoeing & Kayaking

Everglades 9 Mile Pond near Flamingo, Florida USA
By reading further, you agree to our Terms of Use

Copyright 2001 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Al Vazquez alvazquez@kayakguide.com
  • Date Submitted: 2/2002
  • Location: about 6 miles north of Flamingo Florida USA
  • Class: Typically flat water channels, flooded grasses and small lakes
  • Distance Paddled: 5.2 mile loop trail
  • Water Level:
  • Water: fresh
  • Wildlife: alligator, gar, snails, ibis, great blue heron, turtles, cat tails, mangroves, Paurotis palms, bromeliads
  • Special Regulations: motors prohibited

Entry and Exit

  • Directions: About 6 miles north of Flamingo on the east side of Route 9336 where it bends to the north.
  • GPS: N 25 degrees 15.239' W 80 degrees 47.873'
  • Fee: $10 per vehicle park entrance fee plus $3 for a 7 day non-motorized boat permit
  • Description: grass and sand slope. Be careful of some rocks, however, just under the surface.
  • Parking: adjacent paved parking
  • Facilities: porta-john beside the parking lot
  • Handicap Access: probably OK

What We Saw

Nine Mile Pond is probably representative of the image of the Everglades; a mix of open grassy lakes, small hammocks of Paurotis and other palms, and mangrove islands.

It is an easy to follow loop canoe trail marked by sequentially numbered white vertical PVC pipes that take the paddler through the variety of habitats back to the entry point.

From the put in, we proceeded across the lake from the parking lot to the first marker and entered the mangrove channel. You should proceed in the numerical order of the marker or you may have difficulty seeing the following trail marker.

One of the first points of interest was the variety of bromeliads like the blooming one shown at left. These epiphytes manage to take nourishment carried from the air and simply use the plants on which they rest as anchors.

 

When you get to marker 81, look carefully for marker 82 or you may accidentally take the trail you already took backwards.

Around marker 61, we entered a nice mangrove tunnel shown at right. Red mangroves are those you see that sends many aerial roots down into the water. Over time, mangroves can create islands as material collects between these roots.

Black mangroves are those that have vertical shoots coming out of the ground. These take over as land begins to form. And finally, white mangroves grow in drier uplands once islands have formed. They have no distinguishing external roots like the others.

During your paddle in the more open grassy areas, you're likely to see young mangroves like the one at left taking hold.

In Florida, mangroves are legally protected along shorelines as they've been found to have substantial benefits to habitat of aquatic life and to water quality as the roots filter some pollutants from the water naturally and help prevent shoreline erosion.

We saw long gar fish in some of the smaller lakes along the trail. These are long fish with long pointed heads.

We saw a variety of beautiful small flowers in bloom during our February paddle. Some species of flowers have their leaves entirely under water and only expose the flowers above the surface to pollinate in the air. We saw many more of these paddling Noble Hammock.

The paddle ended in a couple of small lakes just off the larger lake at the entry. We saw a number of turtles and alligators in these lakes, which would be easy to reach directly from the parking lot entry by heading to the left.

The water was clear and we could see the bottom plants clearly as shown at left.

We were also glad to see no litter as we paddled this popular area of the park. Please remember that the Closewaters Principles encourage you to pick up at least one piece of garbage as you paddle.