Botanical diversity abounds in the 66-acre Tall Cypress Natural Area, protected thanks to the efforts of Coral Springs High School students in the 1980s.
Like its surroundings, it was planned to be yet another residential and commercial development. Students of the nearby school rallied to “Save What’s Left.”
The country purchased 30 acres from the developer to join with 36 acres the city of Coral Springs already owned. Both city and county jointly manage this preserve.
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Location: Coral Springs
Length: 0.5 mile loop
Trailhead: 26.276303, -80.213543
Address: 3700 Turtle Run Blvd, Coral Springs
Restroom: at the trailhead
Land manager: Broward County
Open 8 AM to 6 PM. Pets are not permitted. Bring no food or drinks into the preserve except water.
This is an excellent spot for birding. Watch for woodpeckers in the pines, and herons in the depression marsh. Call the number above to inquire about naturalist night hikes.
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.
A mosaic of basin swamp and pine flatwoods, Tall Cypress Natural Area is bigger than it appears from its boardwalk.
The trail only loops one tiny corner of the preserve, but it shows off its most unique features.
Follow the path to the boardwalk and take the left fork. By walking the loop clockwise, you enter the cypress slough first.
The bottom of the slough is densely covered in ferns. Marsh ferns dominate, with some scattered giant leather ferns, the largest of the ferns in the basin.
Among the more unusual are the strap ferns with their long slender leaves that look like bunches of feathers.
The trail leads upwards into a pine flatwoods, emerging out of the shade into full sun under tall slash pines.
Pond cypresses rise above a T intersection. To the left is a gazebo overlook on the pine flatwoods.
It looks across the broader portion of the preserve, with silver-tinged saw palmetto under the pines.
To the right the trail continues, reaching an overlook fronting a depression marsh at about a quarter mile.
As you continue along the boardwalk, a deep green bowl of ferns fills the understory beneath the cypresses.
Once the trail rises out of the wetlands, be on the lookout for tropical hammock trees such as satinleaf, notable for its interesting golden underside of the leaf, and pigeon plum.
When the trail reaches the end of the loop, turn left to exit.
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
A bounty of ferns awaits at Fern Forest Nature Center, where more than two miles of trails introduce you to a slice of Florida’s past, a tropical forest surrounding the original floodplain of Cypress Creek
A pretty patch of tropical hammock hides amid the bustle of suburbia in Parkland in Broward County on the half-mile loop through Doris Davis Foreman Wilderness Preserve
A designated urban wilderness area, Woodmont Natural Area in Tamarac is one of the rare islands of nature left in western Broward County.