Across 625 acres, Tradewinds Park goes well beyond the typical county park with paved paths, recreation areas, and picnic pavilions.
It offers an extraordinary variety of day use activities in Coconut Creek, from therapy riding with horses to a miniature steam train ride and a boardwalk winding through a wild pond apple swamp.
There are ponds to fish in, great green spaces to roam, and one of the largest free-flight butterfly houses in the United States.
Still, it’s a nice place to simply have a family picnic, walk the dog, or let the kids ramble the grassy expanses.
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Location: Coconut Creek
Length: 3.4 miles in four loops and a spur
Trailhead: 26.2737, -80.1742
Address: 3600 W Sample Rd, Coconut Creek
Fees: $1.50 per person, children 5 and under free, to enter the park on weekends and holidays.
Restroom: in the picnic areas
Land manager: Broward County
Open 8 AM to 6 PM. Office open 9 AM-5:30 PM. Leashed pets welcome.
Follow Sample Rd west from Interstate 95 or Exit 69 Florida’s Turnpike in Coconut Creek. The park is immediately west of the Turnpike. Turn right into Tradewinds Park North, or left into Tradewinds Park South. On weekends and holidays there is a gate attendant and park entrance fee. The first parking area in Tradewinds Park South gains you access to the entire trail system. We usually drive to the very end of the road, passing Butterfly World, and park near the Frittilary Pavilion.
About the Park
There are two sides to Tradewinds Park, as it is bisected by Sample Road. Of these, we have only explored the trails of Tradewinds Park South.
Tradewinds Park North
The north side of the park speaks to its heritage as a former ranch, with an educational farm with barnyard animals and an equestrian trail.
There are recreational elements too, including fields for baseball, football, soccer, and cricket.
Kids will love taking a ride on the model steam train that wraps around the park.
Tradewinds Park South
The southernmost part of the park, bounding the historic channel of Cypress Creek, is a tropical forest with a pond apple swamp you can explore on a boardwalk.
Just north of the swamp is a lake separating the park from nearby residences. Fishing is permitted in this area.
Winding asphalt paths go on for miles and picnic pavilions are scattered between patches of forest, with playgrounds and a disc golf course along them.
You can walk up to 3.4 miles on the trails of Tradewinds Park south by starting at the parking area near the park entrance and walking to the south end of the park. All of the trails are paved except the boardwalk.
The most prominent feature on this side of the park is Butterfly World, established in 1988 with a series of free-flight aviaries for butterflies and birds.
It requires a separate admission in addition to the park admission fee. Most residents get an annual pass.
This natural attraction is not just a butterfly house. There is also an insect zoo and heritage exhibits. Its passionflower maze is outstanding, and other gardens ring the complex.
See our photos of Tradewinds Park
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
Protecting 66 acres of natural habitats in Coral Springs, Tall Cypress Natural Area offers a wonderland of ferns along its loop trail through a cypress slough
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.