Wild South Florida — Fern Forest Nature Center
 
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Fern Forest Nature Center
Wild lime in bloom at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, Broward County, in May 2014.
Fern Forest Nature Center
fern forest scene
fern forest scene
 

201 Lyons Road South
Coconut Creek

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This place just looks prehistoric, with its swamps, massive cypress and, of course, its ferns. More than 30 species of them, in fact. At 247.1 acres, Fern Forest is massive, considering its setting in a fairly densely developed area — it is a Designated Urban Wilderness Area. And to tell the truth, in two visits, we've barely scratched the surface of what this place has to offer.

Most evident is the rich plant life in various communities, from wet to dry. Air plants, lilies, leather ferns, strap ferns, swamp ferns, royal ferns, bracken ferns, red maples, wild lime, cocoplum, bays, cabbage palms, figs, pines and cypress trees that appear to be hundreds of years old. While much of Fern Forest is wet, there is a dry prairie within its confines. Animals we've spotted there include turtles, armadillos, squirrel, butterflies, birds and grasshoppers.

There are four separate trails, some of which are boardwalk, some natural surface, including one that can be mucky, even in the dry season (there is a shoe-cleaning station). Portions of the natural surface trails are easy walks; rock formations and tree roots make others more challenging. There is an exhibition hall, multi-purpose room, assembly areas, picnic benches and a shelter. Fern Forest, operated by Broward County, is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.


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More Resources for Fern Forest
Institute for Regional Conservation Plant List Great Florida Birding Trail   Fern Allies — Friends of Fern Forest
 
Photo Gallery for Fern Forest
flower bromiliad daggerwing fern
green heron butterfly weed butterfly
squirrel coontie green grasshopper wild lime flowers
flower fern spider lilly
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.