Tucked away at 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. Hurricane Wilma peeled the canopy off like a can opener, so sunlight streams in amid branches trimmed back by nature’s fury. Still, the hammock showcases what’s truly rare around here – native tropical trees. Take the 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.
Location: Ft. Lauderdale Beach
Length: 0.3 mile
Lat-Long: 26.139400, -80.104283
Fees / Permits: none
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Bug factor: moderate
Restrooms are at the main parking area near the Exotic Trail. Watch for feral iguanas along the causeway as you enter this hike.
From I-95 Sunrise Blvd exit north of downtown, drive east on Sunrise over the Intracoastal Waterway. Turn left into the park entrance, 1 mile after you cross US 1.
Starting off by heading down between impoundments where coots play, the trail enters a shady coastal tropical hammock. Turn right at the trail junction and walk beneath the ancient sea grapes and strangler fig, gumbo limbo and myrsine. Coming back around the loop, you can gaze out over the pond from the high relict dunes before returning to the trailhead.