Top Rides in Southeast Florida
Length/configuration: 3 loops over a 7-mile area.
Aerobic difficulty: Low to moderate; beginner trails are flat, but the more intermediate routes have some nice hills.
Technical difficulty: Easy to moderate; novice loops are double-track service roads while the intermediate single-track trails have some uphill switchbacks.
Scenery: Lakes, ancient coral head rising 30 feet above the double-track.
Special comments: There are a variety of recreational options close by (boating, shooting, horseback riding, and more). New trails have been added.
General location: Markham Park is located approximately 10 miles west of Fort Lauderdale, near the Sawgrass Expressway (FL 869).
Elevation change: Ancient coral heads rise 30 feet above the double-track roads below. On one climb, 30 feet is gained along 25 yards, with a quick switchback to the right near the top.
Season: Most of this trail seems to stay high and dry for the most part, even during the summer's traditional rainy season. There are, however, some muddy and boggy spots that crop up after a good rain, no matter what time of year it is. The trailhead is reached by biking to the service road that splits two bodies of water.
Services: Fort Lauderdale, a few miles to the east, offers complete services. The park has the basics: camping, showers, and restrooms.
Hazards: Prepare yourself for a feature you won't find on many Florida trails—rocks! No, they weren't carted in and dumped to make it more like a mountain. They pop up after rains, remnants of the coral that formed the hills long ago. If you're making a long trip to ride Markham (and many do), call ahead for trail and/or park conditions. Concerts are occasionally held here, and a popular draw could make parking and traffic more than you want to contend with.
Rescue index: This is a fairly small park in an urban setting. Rescue should be easy.
Land status: Markham Park is one of the 7 regional parks managed by the Broward County Commission, Community Services Department, Parks and Recreation Division.
Maps: Maps made by ClubMud, a local off-road bike and social club, can be picked up at the entrance station or main office (near the observatory).
Sources of additional information:
16001 West State Road 84
Sunrise, Florida 33326
View Trail Map
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication