Tag Archives: Hugh Taylor Birch State Recreation Area

Nature Preserves and Nature Parks in Pembroke Pines

In previous posts, we already talked about the Hugh Taylor Birch State Recreation Area, which has an intense concentration of wildlife. This former sprawling estate has been converted and divided into 4 different eco-zones. You can rent a canoe for a mile-long ride down a freshwater lagoon or simply try your luck fishing at the seawall. For horticultural enthusiasts, two short trails are planted with the local vegetation. Who knows? Along the way one or several of the 200 bird species may accompany you along the way with their remarkable songs. There is also a paved park road for wheeled visitors in skates or bicycles.

The Chapel Trail Park Nature Preserve covers a vast expanse of 450 acres. Its most prominent feature is the wetland ecosphere, providing an interesting first-hand experience of how this delicate environment works. The almost-hidden lives of birds, deer, marsh rabbits, alligators, other reptiles and fish are all intertwined in a critical balance. This preserve brings home the point of how important it is for all of Florida – and the rest of the country – to safeguard this natural balance. Although there is no admission fee, canoe rentals are $7 per hour all the way to $25 for the whole day.

As one of the oldest botanical gardens in Florida, the Flamingo Gardens has more open exhibits of plants and local wildlife, most notable among which are,of course, the pink flamingos in their elegant bright pink plumage. Its 60 acres house more that 3000 tropical to subtropical species. Flamingo Gardens is built around nature’s own bounty, and features one of the remaining natural and untouched old jungle growth in South Florida. These include some of the oldest trees in the area, including a “unique hammock” of 2-century-old oaks. It’s unique Wray Home, the original residence of Floyd and Jane Wray, is a now a museum that captures 1930s Floridian life and all the issues that the era shared with the rest of America.

What Are the Top 10 Parks in the Pembroke Pines Area?

If you’re an avowed nature lover or a busy city dweller making a rare foray into the great outdoors, you couldn’t have chosen a better place than Pembroke Pines. Here, in no particular order, are our top picks of the best open spaces in the area:

1. Amelia Earhart Park

515acres (208.41 hectares)defined by challenging bike trails. Includes The Bill Graham Farm Village, whichlets you experience of historic rural Americana. Other attractions include a 5-acre dog park and an 18-hole disc golf course.

2. Hugh Taylor Birch State Recreation Area

The wildlife is certainly the showcase here. Among its residents are the gopher tortoise and more than 200 different species of birds. You can also rent a canoe and navigate its mile-long freshwater lagoon. There is also a beach and generous campgrounds.

3. Haulover Beach Park Marina

With the Intracoastal Waterway bordering one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, this marina offers phenomenal fishing. The modern Bill Bird Marina provides exclusive access to 152 wet slips suitable for vessels measuring up to 120 feet.

4. Markham Park

Markham Park’s huge 666 acres offers the adventurous traveler everything he or she may want. You can tour the Fox Observatory, fly your remote controlled plane, or bring your four-legged friend to the humorously named Barkham Dog Park. There is also a swimming pool complex, fishing and boating, as well as tennis or racquetball.

5. C.B. Smith Park

There is a water park within this relatively smaller but equally beautiful public park. It is called “Paradise Cove” and offers a unique way to get closer to nature. Aside from many conventional recreational activities such as fishing, basketball, batting cages, and racquet sports, C.B. Smith also has its own special protected area for the rare burrowing owl.

6. Pembroke Park Preserve

As its name suggests this sprawling park is an ecological oasis, sitting near a lakeshore and is close enough to the town of Wanaka to be regarded as an “important urban park.” It represents the perfect mix of flora, fauna, and outdoor recreational sports for many returning visitors.

7. Miramar Pineland Park

With new amenities, this is one of the most multi-faceted natural parks you can visit. It offers a varied selection of natural vistas including forests, wetlands and prairie. Well worth a trip just for the unique and diverse plant life in each setting.

8. Boaters Park

Part of the Broward County park system, Boaters park is accessible only by – you guessed it – boat. This makes it an excellent and yet naturally exclusive destination for sport fishermen and water sports enthusiasts.

9. Everglades Holiday Park

It’s hard to talk of Florida without mentioning the Everglades. And this 29-acre park’s location has earned it a historic title as the “Gateway to the Everglades”. Naturally there are airboat rides, fishing, wildlife tours, and even alligator shows.

10. Hollywood North Beach Park

This is the park for simply unbeatable views. From its perimeter, you can enjoy more than a mile of the public beach of Hollywood, Florida. From its 60-foot wooden observation tower, you get a breathtaking wraparound view. There is also a regular release of loggerhead turtle hatchlings each season.