Tucked into the southeast corner of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, the Coastal Hammock Trail burrows into the natural habitats that have become so rare in this region.
Hurricane Wilma peeled the canopy off like a can opener. But it’s had time to regenerate, so the hammock still showcases what’s truly special to see in this urban area, native tropical trees.
Take this short walk and savor the wrinkled leaves of wild coffee, the funky skunky scent of Spanish stopper, and the strangler fig swallowing up an oak tree.
Feral iguanas hang out around the impoundments and jump into the water when frightened.
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Location: Fort Lauderdale
Length: 0.3 mile loop
Trailhead: 26.139400, -80.104283
Address: 3109 East Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
Fees: $6 per vehicle
Restroom: at the visitor center and picnic areas
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM to sunset. Leashed pets permitted but not on beach.
This is a hiking-only trail.
From Interstate 95 Sunrise Blvd exit north of downtown Fort Lauderdale, drive east on Sunrise over the Intracoastal Waterway. Turn left into the park entrance, 1 mile after you cross US 1.
Formerly called the Beach Hammock Trail – which undoubtedly led some visitors to think the trail went to the beach – the Coastal Hammock Trail is an interpretive loop trail.
Walk from the parking area between two impoundments where coots play and iguanas often lounge along the shores.
A sign marks the beginning of the trail, which leads into the shade of the coastal hammock.
Turn right at the trail junction and walk beneath the ancient sea grapes that rise tall above.
Strangler fig and gumbo limbo tower overhead, with wild coffee and marlberry in the understory.
Coming back around the loop, you can gaze out over the pond from the high relict dunes before returning to the trailhead.
Learn more about what you can do at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
See our photos of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
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
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.
With its shores dwarfed at times by the giant cruise ships steaming in and out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park is well-known as a great nearshore dive spot