As communities west of Fort Lauderdale pushed into historic Everglades habitats, only a handful of natural areas remain before you reach the vast expanse of the River of Grass.
Woodmont Natural Area in Tamarac is one of those rare islands of green amid subdivisions and stores. This 22-acre preserve is a birder’s delight.
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Length: 0.4 mile loop
Trailhead: 26.212809, -80.258295
Address: 7250 NW 80th Ave, Tamarac FL 33321
Land manager: City of Tamarac
Open 8 AM to 6 PM. No pets allowed.
From Florida’s Turnpike exit 62, SR 870 (Commercial Blvd), drive west 2.8 miles to University Ave. Follow University Ave north 1 mile. Turn on McNab Rd, and continue 0.3 miles to NW 80th Ave. Drive 0.2 miles north, and the park is on the right.
This combination of paved trail and boardwalk leads through the last patch of undeveloped land in Tamarac.
The forest’s understory is alive with colorful lantana, beautyberry, wild coffee, wild balsam apple, and grapevines. Strangler fig roots dangle from the upper canopy.
The trail parallels a canal across from an apartment complex on the return trip. The boardwalk crosses a pond cypress swamp.
Birdsong is constant. Listen for the hooting of barred owls and the rat-a-tat-tat of the pileated woodpecker.
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