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The New River Greenway adds another outdoor recreational gem to Florida’s chest of natural treasures. Situated on the outskirts of Fort Lauderdale, the paved pathway begins at the Everglades border and heads east along the New River Canal, ending at State Road 817/University Drive.
Enjoy looking for iguanas and wading birds along the canal, while never being far from shops and restaurants should you wish to head off the trail for something to eat or drink. Although there are five major intersections, you’ll cross them safely using the pedestrian traffic lights. Note that the trail is largely unshaded, so don’t forget your sunscreen.
If you have some time, explore Markham Park on the trail's west side. It sprawls more than 600 acres, offering such diverse activities as a model airplane field, a target range, mountain bike trails, stargazing at the Fox Observatory, lake fishing, and camping.
Parking is available in Markham Park (16001 W. State Rd. 84) on the western end of the trail.
This was the day I was going to do the complete greenway, including both disconnected sections. I never got on the east section because the end point was Rt. 84 and Anglers, and as I pedaled up 84, I didn't see an Anglers intersection. I knew I had missed it by the time I got to 441, but what the hell, I kept going. Bad choice, because that's when 84 turned into a superhighway with ginormous trucks roaring by at 80 mph. I finally made it to University and got on the west section, which I was already familiar with. Only when you get maybe a mile past Flamingo, you hit construction which includes no more access to the greenway. I'm again going up 84, this time on the south side against the traffic. More racing cars and apoplectic trucks. Did make it to Markham at last, but by then I was so tuckered I only did one lap. I think I'll wait a few months before trying again.
This trail is convenient since, if nearby Markham park (on the western end) is closed, bikers still have an option. Mentioned by others, the downside of this trail is the periodic intersections with drivers along SR 84 and the long waits associated with traffic signal changes. I even had one waiting driver honk at me today because I was not crossing the road. I then pointed at 'my' signal which she then realized was also red (as she began batting her head once realizing her mistake). Avoid the drivers (especially the ones that can make a left in front of you from behind) and be extra cautious at the (supposedly) safer pedestrian cross-walks. It's at those locations where you may find drivers speed up in order to beat a changing light (leaving you flatter than a pancake).
As pretty much everyone else stated, the trail itself is nice. It was late morning till noon by the time we returned. The trail was still shaded on the north side. We rode up the trail along the canal a little ways north. It would be nice to ride farther. Once you get far enough west , away from the intersections, you can get moving ,but the crossings are a bear. At one crossing we had the walk sign ,yet as we crossed the cars kept turning right and we looked back and saw they also had a green arrow ,something was out of sync. I think my husband got tired of hearing me say that they need to build pedestrian bridges over these intersections !!! Maybe cyclists need to come together and raise some of the money to help with that.
Every 10 minutes had to stop and navigate through super busy intersections, I'll never come here again. Even had to ride in the shoulder of the highway for five minutes and one text, cars going by doing 70 not good
We rode this trail from Hiatus west to the terminus on the far side of Markham Park, through the park, and back again, about 18 miles. The Good: The trail itself is wonderful-paved, landscaped, benches, wildlife (iguanas, waterfowl, turtles), away from the road and heavy traffic. If you go as far west as possible, you hit L-35, the levee trail on the edge of the Everglades that goes north to Loxahatchee. The Bad: as others have already said, every 1-2 miles, the trail comes to a major road crossing and you must go 50 yards or so off the trail to the intersection and cross, carefully, with the crossing signal. The Ugly: the fat lady in her $60,000 Lexus SUV who cut us off as we crossed at a signal, and waved at us as she boogied down the road. Bottom Line: we enjoyed the trail in spite of itself. We enjoyed all of the good things it had to offer and tolerated the bad. We will go back again, but we will not recommended the trail to our friends because it is dangerous and somewhat of a pain to bike.
Having lived in South Florida for 60 years, and a Weston resident for almost 18, I'm very familiar with the local traffic. Non cyclists are more concerned with getting their car through the intersections than they are about checking pedestrian crossings for potential bikers/walkers. That's pretty much a given at any major intersection, so one lives with it.
Now for the greenway... we rode it from Markham Park to Pine Island, and then zig-zagged northeast to the Fountains Shopping Center for some dinner on University. The long stretches between crossings are very pleasant. One is far enough from the 595 traffic on the north side of a large canal so that it is not totally urban feeling. The homes and apartments that border the greenway are landscaped nicely, and there is a fair amount of pedestrian/walking/jogging/cycling/dog walking sharing the wide and well-maintained path.
If you are looking for a leisurely bike ride along a safe path in the midst of a busy semi-suburban setting, you'll love it. If you are looking to get a good workout with sustained speed and heart rate, you'll probably find crossing the intersections as frustrating as we did.
Our return ride home from Plantation to Weston was after dark. We ride with headlights and taillights. Along the dark, unlit path, there are benches along the way, and you may find people sitting on or near them after sunset. I would not ride this path alone after dark.
My husband's "least" favorite restaurant choice is Indian cuisine (my favorite). This particular greenway will be MY Indian restaurant choice. I'll do it if I have to, but it won't be my first choice.
If you are from out of town and want to explore Fort Lauderdale by bike forget this trail. If you live near a major city you'd have more fun cycling on the active runway of your international airport. For more than ten years this trail has sat unfinished with no delivery of the "promised" pedestrian bridges. Every mile you get off the trail and cross horribly busy highways. The motorists care not a whit that you have waited for the walk lights. They Wii cut you off, honk angrily.
The jog from University to Davie appears on the map but there is no signage. Good luck finding it!
Better yet, find somewhere else to go.
Great idea in concept but could use some trees along the path to provide shade in the future. The trail itself is beautiful. As stated by others, the street crossings are sketchy at best. They were supposed to build ped bridges but likely ran out of money as is the case with most cycling projects down here. Proceed with caution.
The trail ends at University Drive but you can ride south about a 1/2 mile to Nova Drive and head east to Davie Road to pick up the trail again at Davie Road and SR 84. The trail terminates at Secret Woods Nature Center.
The concrete path itself is wonderful. Very wide and scenic. The only downside to this relatively new trail is how you must cross major intersections. Not only are they not ideal for cyclists, they are dangerous. Even though there are pedestrian traffic signals at each major intersection, many motorists pay little to no attention when they are turning through those particular intersections. We are still waiting for the bridges that were promised years ago.
The old State Road 84 trail ran along side the west bound lanes of SR 84. They moved the trail across the canal to widen SR 84 and I-595.
The planned bridges over the 5 MAJOR roads have not been built yet. Walking 200 feet South to cross at the crosswalk every mile NOT the ideal for cyclists. I hope the pedestrian overpasses the country promised in 2004 will be forthcoming.
This beautifully landscaped path is in perfect condition. Great wide concrete path suitable for all bikes. Our bike group began behind the new McDonalds on University Dr.We parked in the Aetna Building lot. A sign on University Dr for the path would be great.Pack a picnic because Markham Park at the other end of the trail is a wonderful spot to relax and extend the ride. Restrooms are available at the park.For you nature lovers, many iguanas, turtles and water birds can be spotted along the path.The ONLY drawback is the intersections are still under construction.Can't wait until the path expands beyond Markham Park! Rode 17 miles round trip.
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