Wild South Florida — Daggerwing Nature Center
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Daggerwing Nature Center
egret at daggerwing nature center
A great white egret walks the cypress swamp at Daggerwing Nature Center in Boca Raton
daggerwing scene
daggerwing nature center
daggerwing scene wetland

11435 Park Access Road
Boca Raton


Daggerwing Nature Center is all wet. Or mostly wet, at least. It is a 40-acre preserve, primarily swamp, wetlands and lake within the Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in suburban Boca Raton. It has slightly more than a half-mile of trails, but you won't get your feet wet, because the trails are entirely boardwalk. It's an easy walk.

Species we spotted there include wood storks, great blue herons, great white herons, ibis, black-crowned night heron, red-shouldered hawk, mockingbird, cardinal, eastern gray squirrel, raccoons, bald and pond cypress, gumbo limbo trees, pond apples, wild coffee, cat-tails, resurrection fern, and air plants. One species we did not spot, oddly enough: the namesake ruddy daggerwing butterfly.

Burt Aaronson South County Regional is 848 acres west of U.S. 441 off Glades Road. The Palm Beach County park is multi-purpose, with picnic areas, a water park and more. There are ponds and lakes throughout the park; along with some wooded margins, they are great places to find birds, butterflies, dragonflies and wild flowers.

Daggerwing has an interpretive center, and offers programs throughout the year for a variety ages and interests. The center is open limited days and hours (check the website for details) but the trails are open sunrise to sunset, every day of the year. There is an observation tower on the trails, and a butterfly garden at the entrance.

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Photo Gallery for Daggerwing Nature Center
juvenile nite heron resurrection fern cat tails squirrel
gold-rimmed swalowtail water lily red maple dragonfly
hawk in tree wood stork wild coffee raccoon
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