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Matheson Hammock Park

Matheson Hammock Park, located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, near the city of Coral Gables, is a picturesque park that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, recreational facilities, and waterfront views. This park, designed by landscape architect William Lyman Phillips in the 1930s, encompasses approximately 630 acres and features a man-made atoll pool, which is flushed naturally with the tidal action of adjacent Biscayne Bay. The park’s serene atmosphere and scenic landscapes make it a favorite among both locals and visitors.

Natural Features and Landscape

Atoll Pool

The centerpiece of Matheson Hammock Park is its atoll pool, a circular swimming area that mimics a tropical lagoon with calm waters protected from Biscayne Bay. This pool is particularly popular with families with children due to its gentle water.

Mangrove Forests

Surrounding the atoll pool and throughout the park, extensive mangrove forests serve as crucial habitats for a variety of wildlife and help stabilize the shoreline. These areas can be explored via the park’s walking trails, offering a close-up view of this vital ecosystem.

Biscayne Bay

The park provides beautiful views of Biscayne Bay, with its clear waters and gentle breezes creating a perfect setting for relaxation and picnics. The park’s location also makes it a prime spot for watching sunsets over the bay.

Recreational Activities

Sailing and Boating

Matheson Hammock Park is known for its marina, making it an ideal launch point for sailing and boating. The calm waters of the bay are perfect for beginners and experienced sailors alike.


The park’s breezy conditions and open waters make it a popular spot for kiteboarding. Enthusiasts of all levels can often be seen taking advantage of the ideal wind conditions.


Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy casting their lines from various spots along the coastline. The park’s waters are home to a variety of fish species, providing ample opportunities for a rewarding catch.


Scattered throughout the park are picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, ideal for family gatherings or a casual outdoor meal. The lush surroundings and ocean views create a relaxing backdrop for dining al fresco.

Nature Trails

The park features several nature trails that meander through its mangrove forests and along the waterfront, offering peaceful walks and the opportunity to observe local wildlife and bird species.

Facilities and Amenities

  • Red Fish Grill Restaurant: Housed in the historic coral rock building, this upscale restaurant offers fine dining with stunning views of the bay, especially at sunset.
  • Marina: The full-service marina accommodates a range of boats and provides access to Biscayne Bay.
  • Picnic Pavilions: Large group pavilions can be reserved for special events and large gatherings, providing shelter and facilities in a beautiful outdoor setting.
  • Playground: A playground area is available for children, making the park family-friendly.

Conservation and Education

Matheson Hammock Park plays a significant role in the conservation of coastal ecosystems, particularly its mangrove forests. The park offers educational programs and guided tours that focus on the importance of these ecosystems and the species that inhabit them.


Matheson Hammock Park is a gem in Miami’s park system, offering a variety of outdoor activities and beautiful natural settings. Whether you’re looking to sail, fish, kiteboard, or simply relax by the water, this park provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Its combination of recreational opportunities, natural beauty, and conservation efforts make it a valuable resource for both nature lovers and recreational enthusiasts.

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