The popular "Chekika" day-use area in Everglades National Park has reopened, and will remain open through April.
This popular part of Everglades National Park is located in the northeast part of the park, off Krome Avenue at the west end of SW 168th Avenue in Miami, and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chekika is open seasonally due to a tendency to flood during the wet season.
Chekika offers a quiet day of relaxation in the everglades, with picnicking opportunities and a short hiking trail through the hammock. It is also a good staging location for bicycle rides along the paved roads and canal banks in the East Everglades section of the park. There are no concessions, though bathrooms are available. Barbecues are provided and chickee huts are available on a first come, first served basis. A special use permit is required for any large group (20 or more) and is available by calling 305-242-7744.
Chekika was added to Everglades National Park in 1991, as part of the Everglades Expansion Act of 1989. Prior to that, before becoming Chekika State Recreation Area in 1970, the area was a private resort called Grossman Hammock Mineral Springs, famed for a bubbling mineral spring that some believed had healing powers.
Some of Chekika's visitors today were residents who used to come with their parents when the park was in its heyday with camping and swimming. These people are now bringing their children to picnic and enjoy the quiet, cleanliness and serenity of a day in the Everglades.
Chekika volunteers are developing activities and projects aimed toward youngsters. Planned events include art time on weekend afternoons. Touch exhibits will be on display. Interpretive information for young and old will be provided any time throughout the week.