Thought this one was an interesting side trip on the way to the Keys last week:

Heading east bound towards Miami the Loop Road begins in the Big Cypress Preserve at the intersection with US 41/Tamiami Trail at Monroe Station. Monroe Station is the remains of a 1928 gas and police station that is one of the few 20s era Tamiami Trail buildings left. The Parks Service purchased the building (which is listed on the register of National Historical Places) with intention to make it an attraction for the Big Cypress National Preserve. A hunting registration stand and a Parks Service restroom are now present with the Monroe Station being fenced off some evidence of restoration.
The next 19 miles of the Loop Road are all gravel through the wilderness of the Everglades. Depending on your point of view this might be the most boring or the best part of the Loop Road. Although I didnít see really any animals other than birds I know the Alligators are close by as they usually hanging out 20 to 40 at a time at the nearby Oasis Visitor Center in the Big Cypress Preserve.
As the final 6 miles of the Loop Road begin the road becomes paved. Approximately the next two miles are all that is left of Pinecrest. Pinecrest was created along with the Loop Road in the 1920s and became a second home to Al Capone who built a mansion in the town. After Capone was long dead and Pinecrest began to die off into a Ghost Town the state of Florida bulldozed the site of the mansion. Iím to understand the front steps of the Capone Mansion are still out in the brush but it didnít seem like a good idea to look for it given the unfenced waters nearby. There remains of a couple buildings in Pinecrest; namely a service station with a bunch of rusted out equipment and cars all at least 50 years old.
From Pinecrest the Loop Road continues to the Miccosukee village known as Forty Mile Bend. The name of Forty Mile Bend comes from where the Loop Road and Tamiami Trail meet back up at mile marker 40. This is where the Loop Road ends and the modern alignment of US 41/Tamiami Trail picks up near the Shark Valley Loop Road in Everglades National Park.

Name:  1.jpg
Views: 1015
Size:  96.7 KBName:  2.jpg
Views: 415
Size:  91.5 KBName:  3.jpg
Views: 778
Size:  91.1 KBName:  4.jpg
Views: 408
Size:  95.7 KBName:  5.jpg
Views: 331
Size:  96.5 KB