Redland Tropical Trail

Not a bike trail. Not a hiking trail. Not a kayak trail. Nevertheless, the Redland Tropical Trail is one that shouldn’t be missed.

I’m not sure how we’ve been visiting south Florida for the past ten years without ever exploring Redland. Located near Homestead, Redland remains an agriculture center known as the “garden capital of the world”, and I guess that designation doesn’t sound like an invitation to visitors; but that would be wrong.

We started exploring Redland by stopping at Knauss Farms, a U-pick farm with strawberries and tomatoes ready for picking. However, it wasn’t the produce, but the bakery, that will require a return trip. Without a doubt, the warm cinnamon rolls purchased from the bakery were the best I’ve eaten and the white chocolate chip key lime cookies…delicious!

Most left Knauss with boxes of cookies, pies, bread and of course, cinnamon rolls, but since we were camping, we could only manage a half dozen rolls and a half dozen cookies. We’ll develop a better plan for our next trip so we can make a larger purchase.

The next stop on the Redland Trail? Another U-pick farm, Burr’s Berries. Again, we did not pick any produce, but instead ordered their famous strawberry milkshakes. (Just what we needed to top off the cinnamon rolls.) And yes, it deserved the hype of the best berry shakes. After purchasing the days homemade salsa with ingredients picked from the field earlier in the day, we were ready for stop number three.

Fortunately, R.F. Orchids didn’t sell food. Instead we enjoyed the amazing variety of orchids in the greenhouses and show rooms. Of course, we didn’t turn down the complimentary lemonade being delivered by the staff, but we did leave without making a purchase since the likelihood of an orchid surviving five days of camping seemed remote.

Our final stop: Robert is Here, yes, that really is the name of the produce stand with a small zoo, playground and water park for kids (all free). Here we found numerous fruits and vegetables we were unable to identify and after sampling various products, left with a jar of mangrove honey and one of mango butter. Both unique and yummy.

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Apparently we didn’t leave sufficient time to explore all of the Redland Tripical Trail attractions since on our final stop I came across a brochure listing a dozen more Redland treasures.

Who knew a sleepy agricultural community could provide a day of entertainment and so many calories?

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