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Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub Natural Area
Broward County
gray fox
crystal lake pinleand scrub natural area
crystal lake pinleand scrub natural area
crystal lake pinleand scrub natural area

3299 NE 3rd Avenue
Pompano Beach


There are moments when things become clear in one's mind. That moment for us came one evening on a quick visit to this place, Crystal Lake Sand Pines Natural Area, when I crossed paths with a gray fox. He looked at me for a few moments then went on his way. I knew then why this small patch of nature in an otherwise urban landscape has been preserved. And why others like it throughout South Florida are worth the work it takes to keep them as natural as possible.

Crystal Lake is situated just south of Sample Road on the east side of I-95 in Pompano Beach. There are about 3,200 feet of paved and unpaved trails cutting through it. It is 24 acres of pineland scrub, home to pawpaw, pricklypear, feay's palafox, powderpuff lichen, staggerbush, white mouth dayflower, gopher apple, greenbriar, northern mockingbird, cardinals, warblers, gopher tortoise, and a variety of butterflies. And yes, a gray fox or two. Sand pines provide upper-story cover. The trails are well marked and maintained. All in all, it's an easy hike. It has ample parking, pavilions, benches, drinking water and waste baskets, but no toilets.

Crystal Lake Sand Pine Natural Area is owned and maintained by Broward County, which bought the land in 1989, making it among the oldest natural areas in the region. Nearby are Military Trail, Highlands Scrub and the Tivoli Sand Pines Preserve.

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Additional Resources for Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub
Institute for Regional Conservation Plant Inventory      
Photo Gallery for Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub Natural Area
prickley pear fruit gulf fritiliary mocking bird pawpaw flower
ground cherry powderpuff lichen staggerbush feay's palafox
gray fox ball moss slenderleaf clammyweed gopher apple
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.