Thursday, August 30, 2012

Matheson Hammock Park

August in Miami. It is hot, it is humid, it is truly tropical. Where can you escape the heat but still enjoy the outdoors? The best answer might lie along the eastern edge of Miami, in Matheson Hammock Park. Here, the sea breeze cools you with its gentle yet constant presence, and the mugginess melts away.
Matheson Hammock Park is huge, one of the biggest and best in Miami-Dade County. It has that great, only in the tropics feel to it, pushing right into Biscayne Bay. Standing at the edge of the park, one is graced with some of the best views of downtown Miami in the distance.

Since it sits right on the water, the park is a great launching space for people participating in water sports like kite surfing.

Probably one of the most popular features of the park is the man made lagoon and surrounding beach area. Different from any other beach in Miami, this is a unique feature that makes Matheson Hammock one of the coolest parks around.

Retreating inland, the area takes on a different feel, becoming more like a tropical nature park. There are some great trees and funky structures that are perfect for parties or picnics.

The park also has a marina, and a beach side restaurant called Red Fish Grill. After I got home, I was surprised to learn that the park actually extends further inland, west of Old Cutler Road. Here, it turns into a nature hike through a natural hammock habitat that used to cover the whole area before it was developed. My hope is to return to this part of the park, take pictures, and use that for another update. For now, enjoy the rest of the pictures and if you ever need a cool beach to check out, try Matheson Hammock Park.

Hammock foliage

Follow the light...

Waters of Biscayne Bay

Looking out onto Biscayne Bay

The lagoon

Local fishermen

Family members of Sebastian the Ibis

The beach

Red Fish Grill

Cool place for a party


The park borders Old Cutler Road

Wild cat

Who knows what could be lurking in the deep?

The enemy

Nature's garbageman

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