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Scenic bay view of the mangrove swamp along the bay in Oleta River State Park

Oleta River State Park is a beautiful oasis just 30 minutes from downtown Miami in the North Miami Beach area. This 1,043 acre public recreational area, once known as the Big Snake River, lies along Biscayne Bay’s beautiful sandy beaches.

This urban park, one of the largest state parks in Florida, also has a mangrove forest swamp that is ideal for adventurous kayakers. Visitors escaping the busy city love to fish, canoe, camp, mountain bike and take in the natural sights of this unique state park. The mangrove forest swamp provides for adventurous kayaking as well.


A visit to Oleta River State Park is like having access to the best of two completely different worlds. One world provides rustic entertainment in a natural area with lots of wildlife and nature to view. The other provides the hustling city life and with it shopping, restaurants and shows.

While you’re visiting the park check out the butterfly garden. The maintained garden has a variety of native plants that attract butterflies all year. And also take the time to stop in for a bite to eat at the Blue Marlin Fish House and then head over to the Interpretive Center where you can learn more about the Oleta River’s ecosystem and history.

Here are a few more activities that you can do during your visit to Oleta River State Park:

Boating at Oleta River State Park

Bring your own kayak, canoe or paddle board (or rent one inside the park) and experience an adventure through the mangrove trails or along the Oleta River. If you’re looking for a more relaxed pace then stick with the calm waters of Biscayne Bay. Guided tours and boat rentals are available through the park’s concessionaire, Oleta River Outdoor Center.

Swimming at Oleta River State Park

Swim or snorkel in the crystal clear waters of beautiful Biscayne Bay. This saltwater lagoon also has a nice sandy beach area for an even more relaxed visit. Bring your beach towels, sunblock and a picnic and enjoy a few relaxing hours.

Hiking at Oleta River State Park

Oleta River State Park has one 3 mile paved trail with views of the water that is ideal for walkers, mountain bikes and even inline skates. This easy trail is shaded throughout and makes for a pleasant walk through the picturesque park.

Biking at Oleta River State Park

Have fun exploring the mountain bike trails when you visit Oleta River State Park. There are more than 10 miles of trails for intermediate to expert riders and 4 miles of beginner trails plus another 3 miles of paved trail for a smooth ride. The park’s concession, the Oleta River Outdoor Center, rents bikes inside the park.

Fishing at Oleta River State Park

Bring your fishing supplies and fish for snook, tarpon, mullet, snapper, grunt and sheepshead from the pier or shoreline. Check out the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fishing in Florida to learn more and to get a Florida fishing license before heading to the park.

Birding at Oleta River State Park

Many species of songbirds, waterfowl, wading birds and raptors may be seen around the park. During your visit look for herons, ibis, osprey, American kestrel, gulls, doves, Monk parakeet, Belted kingfisher, Red-bellied woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird, blue jays, crows, cardinals, sparrows and more.

Nature and Wildlife at Oleta River State Park

Oleta River State Park is a 1,000 acre nature preserve just outside of Miami. Various species of wildlife live within its borders, such as deer, alligators, wading birds, dolphins and manatees.

Pets at Oleta River State Park

Pets are allowed at Oleta River State Park but must be leashed (no longer than 6’) and supervised at all times. Pets are not permitted inside any park buildings or on the beach.

Camping at Oleta River State Park

Oleta River State Park offers cabins for guests wanting to spend the night inside the park and a primitive group campground for organized youth groups.

The 14 rustic cabins have one double bed and a bunk bed but no kitchen or bathroom. Restrooms and showers are conveniently located nearby. No linens are provided but each cabin does have air conditioning.

The 3 primitive campsites are only available for organized groups of children aged 18 or younger. Each site fits up to 30 campers and one adult leader and has 2 picnic tables, a fire ring, shower (cold water) and a restroom. A pavilion is also located in this area for the 3 camps to share.

Park Location

Oleta River State Park
3400 NE 163rd St,
North Miami Beach, FL 33160
Phone: 305-919-1846




Here is a video with some aerial footage of Oleta River State Park: