Last updated on December 3rd, 2019 at 03:02 pm

Free trolley in downtown Homestead.
Free trolley in downtown Homestead.

Admission is $30 per car to Everglades National Park, but if you take a free trolley from Homestead on weekends this winter, you get in free. (Admission is going up to $35 in 2020.) 

The trolley system in Homestead links visitors with Homestead’s two national parks – Everglades and Biscayne National Park – as well as to Homestead Bayfront Park, which features a natural atoll pool for swimming.

In the 2019-2020 season, the trolley will operate every weekend from Jan. 4 to April 12, 2020, plus every day during the holiday Dec. 26-31, 2019.

Inside the free Homestead trolley.
Inside the free Homestead trolley.

Visitors can use the free parking in Homestead and then use the trolley to visit either or both parks.

The trolley has been offered for several years, but in recent years, each park has added activities, according to Homestead Public Information Officer Zachery Good.

Biscayne National Park offers additional boat tours, including snorkeling tours.  (Florida Rambler’s story on the Biscayne National Park boat tours.) You also can rent kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards there.

On Saturdays, a trolley takes people to the historic Nike Missile Base, where tours are offered. (Florida Rambler’s story on visiting the historic Nike base.)  (The Homestead trolley website says the 11:04 am departure of the Homestead National Parks Trolley from Losner Park will arrive in time to meet the Trolley to the Nike Missile Site.)

The trolley to Everglades National Park stops makes a quick stop at the delightful Robert is Here fruit stand, then at the excellent Coe Visitor Center (worth a visit) and then goes to Royal Palm, home of the Anhinga Trail, the most reliable place to see alligators and wading birds up close. There is a second hike leaving from there – the Gumbo Limbo Trail –   and there are often ranger talks there too. It’s easy to spend several hours at this location.

From there, visitors take the trolley back to the visitor center and then on to Homestead.

There is no additional public transportation into the rest of the large park this year.

If you catch the 9 a.m. tour to either national park, it is possible to visit both parks in one day, Good said. “I’ve done it, and it is a pretty long exhausting day, but it’s possible.”

It is possible to reach the park from Miami all on Miami-Dade County Public Transportation. The trolley site recommends you use the Miami-Dade Transit Trip Planner at MiamiDade.gov for a step-by-step guide on catching bus 38 to Losner Park,  104 N. Krome Ave., where the trolley stops.

Please confirm this information with the trolley website or by calling, as schedules can change.

Here are details about the trolleys with schedule information.

Florida Rambler’s guide to visiting Everglades National Park.

 

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