It’s always nice to be able to fly into an airport and be within a national park in less than an hour upon arrival. That was exactly what I was able to do when I flew into Miami International Airport last month. About fifty minutes away from one of the south’s biggest cities is Biscayne National Park. Biscayne is far from the most famous park in the country (the nearby Everglades National Park certainly overshadows it), and that’s most likely because the vast majority of the park is underwater as it protects the Florida Reef system. So if you aren’t traveling to the park by boat you are missing out on a lot.
My recent trip to Florida was bookended by visits to this park, but unfortunately we still didn’t have time to get into the heart of the park. Despite that, the Convoy Point area in Homestead, Florida is a nice introduction to the park. Located here are the park’s visitor center, a marina and a short trail that provides amazing views of the Miami skyline. My time at the park began with a visit to the visitor center, which was nothing special. They have a theater where they play their introductory video and very little in terms of exhibits. This is also where you can sign up for boat tours provided by the National Park Service. From the visitor center we took a stroll along the Convoy Point trail, which was filled with picnickers and people fishing. The trail has a bunch of signage about the underwater wildlife and some recreational opportunities provided in the park. The trail has beautiful views of the Miami skyline, and you will also see the occasional lizard along the way. At only a half-mile in length it really goes to show you that this park isn’t exactly a hiker’s paradise. On our first visit we spent maybe forty-five minutes in the park before continuing onto the rest of our journey.
Before heading back to Miami International Airport, we decided to take one last stroll at this park before going back home. One of the best parts about visiting national parks is the amount of small and spontaneous moments that you get to encounter in the outdoors. As we were finishing our walk on the Convoy Point Trail we noticed a statue of a great egret on the main dock that we didn’t remember on our previous visit. It wasn’t until we moved in a little closer that we realized that this was no statue but a real bird. Nature is awesome.