The Underline: Miami’s Park Below the Metrorail

The Miami Underline
The Miami Underline. Robin Hill photo.

Miami’s New Underline Park: Butterflies, Yoga, Biking and More

By Aysia Reed

After many years of anticipation, the first section of the Miami Underline Park is finally open. The first section opened on February 26 and is called the “Brickell Backyard,” due to its proximity to Brickell Avenue. The park is directly beneath the Miami Metrorail and is ground level.

Eventually, the completed Underline Park will open up two more sections, and the entirety of the Underline will span from the Miami River to Dadeland South Station.

Brickell Promenade Proposed
Brickell Promenade Proposed

Creator of the Underline is Meg Daly, whose idea first stemmed from a biking accident where she broke both of her elbows.

During Daly’s injury, she was left with no choice but to take the Metrorail because she could no longer bike around town.

While on her train ride, she pondered if the abandoned ground-level spaces beneath the Miami Metrorail could be transformed into blooming parks, similar to the existing High Line in New York City.

Exhilarated by this idea, Daly left her day job and created The Friends of the Underline nonprofit to pursue the creation of the Miami Underline. Over the years, the nonprofit reeled in a whopping $120 million for construction of the Underline.

Amanda Sater, a social media influencer in Miami, spoke with GoNOMAD about her experience with the Underline and the advantages of the location.

“I think the major perk is that you’re in the middle of the city, so if you get hungry or want to make a detour somewhere in Brickell, this park makes it easy to access any area and is a great excuse to walk somewhere instead of drive,” said Sater.

The Underline is close proximity to the city. Amanda Sater photo.

Safe and Fun Space

The space directly underneath the above-ground metro system has since been revamped by Daly and offers a safe, and fun space for unique urban development activities. Before the Underline, the spaces below the rail were unused ghost towns full of garbage and overgrown weeds.

One goal behind the Miami Underline will be used as a transportation solution, by reducing car usage and promoting outdoor activities below the Metrorail at ground level, such as walking or cycling.

Miami Underline
Bikers safely enjoying their ride at the Miami Underline. Robin Hill photo.

Currently, Miami county is one of the most dangerous areas in the United States to walk or cycle, and the Underline is making it a safe place for those who want to continue their travels by bike or foot.

The Underline Park is also an exciting space for local businesses. American Social, a nearby restaurant, is hopeful that the park will boost Miami’s business, and help bring people together to enjoy their food, and the outdoors.

The Underline park’s goal is to create a space for people to be artistically creative, exercise, and restore natural habitats. Hanging out beneath the elevated track has become the ultimate spot in the area, and is home to an urban trail and over 120 acres of a park.

The layout of the park is designed around Miami’s habitat and is helping to conserve and implement more greenery. The park has 20 butterfly gardens, scarlet sage, gamma grass, and oolite rocks- all vegetation native to Miami. Around the Brickell Backyard park, there are “rooms” and each has a theme.

The Urban Gym

The Urban Gym
The Urban Gym. Robin Hill photo.

Grab some athletic clothes, because the Underline has incorporated an outdoor gym to fit everyone’s needs.

The outdoor gym is located on SW 7th and 8th Streets and is sponsored by Baptist Health South Florida. The gym area has a plethora of strength and stretching stations that can be utilized by both gym-goers and the average joe.

A running track surrounds the area, and The Underline Flex Court is perfect for basketball and soccer games both during the day and night.

The Oolite Room

Butterfly sightings are of the norm in the Oolite Room! The Oolite Room is home to butterfly gardens that are naturally nestled in a stone canyon in order to support butterflies and other species. The room has 4 of these butterfly gardens, and 16 more will be incorporated into the Miami Underline Park in the future.

The River Room

Have a dog? No problem! Avid biker? You’re in luck! The River Room welcomes animal lovers, cyclists, and walkers to enjoy the paths. For safety measures, the path has separated parts for bikers and walkers.

Miami Underline
Miami Underline greenery. Amanda Sater photo.

For animal walkers, there is a trail, water bowls, and clean-up bags for while you are on your stroll.

“I loved the variety of plants, and my dog loved exploring it as well. It’s a great spot in a neighborhood that really needed green space for people to work out or take a leisurely walk,” said Sater.

Miami’s native vegetation surrounds the pathways, making for a scenic walk. An art gallery is also a feature that can be observed at the River Room.

The Promenade

The Promenade Room is where the Brickell Station is located for the Miami Metrorail.

Yoga in Miami Underline
The Promenade Room. Robin Hill photo.

Not too far from the station is the Sound Stage. The stage has a clear view of 8th Street, making it an ideal place for cultural, wellness, and community events to be hosted. The stage is 700-square feet and has a 2,300-square-foot plaza.

If you need time to sit down and unwind, the park has gaming tables for chess, checkers, or dominoes.

Located on both 1st and 8th Street are the Dining Rooms. A dining table that can comfortably fit up to fifty people is located in this area, and is perfect for an outdoor meal.

Restaurants and food trucks are scattered all across the area, so finding a perfect meal is not a problem.

Events and Upcoming Sections

The Underline is the ideal place for registered events.

In March, the 9th Annual Bike305 Bike to Work Day event will be hosted at the park, starting at the University Metrorail Station. Participants who arrive on bike will be given a free t-shirt and a free helmet. The ride distance is 7.6 miles and is an easy to moderate pace.

Miami Underline
Miami Underline yoga. Robin Hill photo.

There are upcoming Mindful Movement Virtual Yoga classes all throughout the months of March and April, hosted by the Friends of the Underline nonprofit. The classes are free of charge and welcome to all ages and yoga levels.

Vizcaya Is Next

Sater enjoyed her experience, and plans to revisit the Miami Underline.

“I have a friend that lives right next to The Underline, and we plan on doing a run there at some point soon,” she said.

In the future, visitors like Sater will have a lot of more space to explore.

Now that the Brickell Backyard section of the Underline is complete, it’s time for the nonprofit team to work on the next 2 sections. The next section will be the Vizcaya Station.

Following this phase will be the last section of the Underline, the Miami. The entirety of the Underline will eventually stretch to Coconut Grove, the University of Miami, and Vizcaya.

The new sections will connect to even more paths and trails, making life easier and more enjoyable for those who need some outdoor fun.

The 2 unfinished phases are estimated to be completed by 2025.

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