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, with a profusion of giant sword ferns, marsh ferns, giant leather ferns, and many others filling the understory. Tropical trees grow on the matted soil: pigeon plum, paradise tree, satinleaf, and strangler figs. A gentle half-mile trail with many benches along the way, it’s ideal for all ages.
Location: Coral Springs
Length: 0.5 mile
Lat-Long: 26.276303, -80.213543
Fees / Permits: Free
Bug factor: moderate
This is an excellent spot for birding—watch for woodpeckers in the pines. Naturalist night hikes are offered on Saturday evenings; call 954-357-5100 to preregister for the next one.
From the intersection of US 441 and Sample Rd, drive west 3 miles to Turtle Run Blvd. Turn right and follow the road 0.1 mile to the preserve entrance on the left.
Walking clockwise along the boardwalk, you first enter the cypress slough and its amazing understory of ferns. The trail leads upwards into a pine flatwoods, emerging out into full sun under tall slash pines. Pond cypresses rise above you as you come to a T intersection; to the left is a gazebo overlook on the pine flatwoods. Continue to the right to complete the loop. Be on the lookout for the deep green “bowl” of ferns beneath the cypresses, and the many types of tropical trees scattered throughout the wetlands.