The Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, which spans 80 acres (73 hectares) of land, is a ruggedly beautiful park in the middle of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There’s something for everyone here: paved paths for bicyclists, several nature trails for hikers, and more than 200 plant species. A freshwater lagoon is a great place for canoeing or kayaking, and you can fish here, too.
Start by swinging by the Terramar Visitor Center, where you’ll gain a basic understanding of the ecology and history of the park. From there, you can go swimming, canoeing, camping, bicycling, or picnicking among the plentiful wildlife, which includes turtles, butterflies, opossums, squirrels, and more than 200 species of birds. There are several guided walks and presentations each week.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You can order a meal or a snack at Park & Ocean, the on-site restaurant and bar.
- Beach wheelchairs are available from the Beach Concession.
- You can check out the park’s one-mile audio tour for free.
- Restrooms are located at the Beach Concession.
How to Get There
The park is adjacent to Fort Lauderdale Beach on East Sunrise Boulevard, about three miles (4.8 kilometers) northeast of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Take US-1 North to Sunrise Boulevard. Paid parking is available on-site. The nearest bus stop is Sunrise and A1A, about a four-minute walk.
When to Get There
The Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is open 8am to sunset year round and hosts regular events, from the annual South Florida Folk Festival to nature walks throughout the week, including guided themed tours on Fridays and Saturdays. Check the calendar to see what’s happening during your visit, and remember that weekdays tend to be less crowded than weekends.
One of the most interesting animals you might see here is the Gopher Tortoise, a threatened species and the only native tortoise species in the eastern United States. It’s also considered a keystone species because it shares its burrow with more than 350 other animal species.