Riders on the Homestead National Parks Trolley can now travel back in time to the high stakes era of the Cold War when defense against Soviet attack was paramount to our nation’s security and the Everglades was central to this mission.
Thanks to a partnership with the Florida National Parks Association, trolley riders can access free tours of the Historic Nike Missile Site at Everglades National Park every Saturday through the end of April.
The Homestead National Parks Trolley departs to Everglades National Park from Losner Park (104 N. Krome Ave.) in Historic Downtown Homestead every weekend through Apr. 29. Riders will get a free ride, free guided tour, and free admission to the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center and the Royal Palm Visitor Center at Anhinga Trail. Free tours to the Historic Nike Missile Site depart from Royal Palm at 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
Tours at the site last approximately 90 minutes and visitors can expect to return to Royal Palm by 4 p.m. There are no restrooms or food/drink vendors at the Nike missile site. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own snacks, water, and bug spray.
The missile base was built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, immediately following the Cuban Missile Crisis. The United States Army chose this strategic location within Everglades National Park, located 160 miles from the Cuban coast, to build an anti-aircraft missile site. It remains virtually the same as it was when official use terminated in 1979.
The Homestead National Parks Trolley also provides a free ride, free guided tour, and free admission to Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center and boardwalk, where visitors can take the new Island Boat Tour. There is an additional free stop at Miami-Dade County’s Homestead Bayfront Park where visitors may swim at the atoll beach.
The trolley connects to bus routes from Miami-Dade County public transportation and there is plenty of free parking adjacent to the trolley stop. The program is the result of efforts of the National Parks Conservation Association in collaboration with the National Park Service and the City of Homestead.
The National Parks Conservation Association works to protect and enhance America’s national park system for current and future generations and is America’s voice for national parks.
For more information on the Homestead National Parks Trolley and routes as well as ranger-guided tours at the National Parks and other activities, visit: www.cityofhomestead.com/gateway or call 305-224-4457.