Fort Lauderdale may not be somewhere you’ve thought of hiking, biking, or paddling, but you’ll be surprised what Broward County has to offer. Most of the hiking trails are short nature walks, but some immerse you in habitats you won’t easily see anywhere else.
Nearby: Big Cypress National Preserve, Boca Raton, Clewiston, Everglades National Park, Miami
Trails and Parks in Fort Lauderdale
- Barrier Island Nature Trail - At John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, the Barrier Island Nature Trail gets you away from the busy beach and into a patch of wilds along a slender barrier island.
- Beach Hammock Trail - In the southern corner of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, the Beach Hammock Trail traverses a maritime hammock dense with sea grapes, myrsine, gumbo limbo, and stopper
- Bonnet House - Named for the water lilies that once flourished in the freshwater marsh in front of this grand home, the 35 acres of tropical forest on which the Bonnet House was built was a gift from industrialist Hugh Taylor Birch to his daughter Helen and son-in-law Fredric Clay Bartlett, a noted artist.
- Butterfly World - Butterflies are the main attraction at this complex of natural wonders inside Tradewinds Park, but the flowers also put on a show at Butterfly World, with a maze of passionflower vines said to be the world's largest collection of its kind.
- Chapel Trail Nature Preserve - Preserving 450 acres on the edge of Pembroke Pines, Chapel Trail Nature Preserve makes an excellent birding destination as well as an easy-to-reach sampler of Everglades flora and fauna
- Colohatchee Natural Park - An interpretive boardwalk along the South Fork of the Middle River leads you on an exploration of mangrove forest in Colohatchee Natural Park near Fort Lauderdale
- Crystal Lake Natural Area - Winding through a diminutive forest of sand live oak, tallow-wood, gopher apple, and sand pines, the 0.4-mile hike through Crystal Lake Natural Area celebrates scrub
- Doris Davis Foreman Wilderness - A pretty patch of tropical hammock hides amid the bustle of suburbia in Parkland in Broward County on the 0.5 mile loop through Doris Davis Foreman Wilderness Preserve.
- Easterlin Park - An urban wilderness area preserving a patch of tropical forest, Easterlin Park has the 0.9-mile Habitat Restoration Nature Trail looping around a lake and campground.
- Exotic Trail - Running down the middle of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, the Exotic Trail traces a path through the exotic gardens of the former estate of Hugh Taylor Birch, Terramar
- Fern Forest Nature Center - A bounty of ferns await at Fern Forest Nature Center, an urban wilderness area established in 1979, spanning 247 acres that surround the original floodplain of Cypress Creek
- Flamingo Gardens - From its roots in a citrus grove, a nonprofit botanical garden sprouted through the efforts of Floyd and Lula Wray. In 1927, they purchased 320 acres to grow citrus and a year later, Floyd hired Frank Stirling to create a botanical garden for test planting of tropical fruit and flowering trees.
- Helene Klein Pineland Preserve - In just 13 acres, Helene Klein Pineland Preserve packs in a nice walk through a variety of habitats within that small space near West Boca Raton and Coconut Creek
- Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area - A 56-acre remnant of forest that once spanned between the Atlantic Coastal Ridge and the Everglades, Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area offers gentle nature trails less than a mile long.
- Hugh Taylor Birch State Park - In a tropical forest across the street from Fort Lauderdale Beach, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is the former estate of Chicago attorney Hugh Taylor Birch. Built in 1940, Birch’s home, TerraMar, displays both Mediterranean and Art Deco architecture and serves as the visitor's center.
- John U. Lloyd Beach State Park - With its shores dwarfed at times by the giant cruise ships steaming in and out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, John U. Lloyd Beach State Park is well-known as a great nearshore dive spot.
- Pine Island Ridge Natural Area - A ridgetop once surrounded by the grassy waters of the Everglades is the highest natural landform in Broward County, protected at Pine Island Ridge Natural Area in Davie.
- Pondhawk Natural Area - Pondhawk Natural Area protects 79 acres of scrub habitats and wetlands, including a relict pond apple slough with some of the tallest pond apple trees in Florida.
- Secret Woods Nature Center - Designated the first “urban wilderness area” in Florida back in 1978, Secret Woods protects a 56-acre floodplain of cypress strand and mangroves with uplands of tropical hammock.
- Snake Warrior Island - Protecting what was once the headwaters of Snake Creek and a Seminole settlement, Snake Warrior Island Natural Area is a small urban oasis not far from I-95 in Miramar.
- Tall Cypress Natural Area - Botanical diversity abounds in the 66-acre Tall Cypress Natural Area. Along the boardwalks, you'll wander through a cypress slough that is a wonderland of ferns.
- Tree Tops Park - An oasis of ancient live oaks, tropical hammocks, and wetlands covering more than 140 acres in Davie, Tree Tops Park is a success story for conservation in Broward County.
- Woodmont Natural Area - The last patch of woodlands in suburbia, the Woodmont Natural Area in Tamarac is one of the rare islands of nature left in western Broward County.
- Sailing Fort Lauderdale (7/19/2015) - For a relaxing cruise along Fort Lauderdale Beach and a chance to snorkel offshore, take a trip on the Spirit of Lauderdale to gawk at Millionaire's Row and sail on the Atlantic
- Tegus establish a foothold in Florida (7/31/2014) - It's big. It's colorful. And it's the newest non-native species to establish breeding populations in Florida. Meet the black and white tegu.