Wild South Florida — Frenchman's Forest Natural Area
 
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Frenchman's Forest Natural Area
yellow-billed cuckoo
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frenchmans forest
tidal basin
flatwoods
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12201 Prosperity Farms Road
Palm Beach Gardens

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Frenchman's Forest is one of the few places where you might see a river otter and a gopher tortoise on the same hike. We have, albeit at different times. At 172 acres, it's not huge but it is diverse. You can go from mangrove swamp and tidal basin to cypress swamp to scrub within a 15-minute walk. It's among the older natural areas in Palm Beach County, and it shows its age in places. But it's well maintained, the hiking trails well trimmed and marked, the boardwalks and pavilions solid.

The site is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail for good reason. Great blue herons, red-bellied woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, blue jay, cardinals and cat birds were among the species we've spotted. Also downy woodpeckers, yellow-bellied cuckoos, black-throated blue warbers, prairie warblers, northern parulas, black-and-white warblers. We found the boardwalk through the cypress swamp along the staggerbush hiking trail to be one of the better spots for bird watching. We suspect the pavilion over the tidal basin to be a productive site as well. And you might catch a glimpse of the river otters here.

Frenchman's has about three miles of hiking trails, including 0.4 miles of hard-surface that ends in a loop. There is ample parking, an information with maps and brochures (pick up a trail guide) pavilion but no drinking water or restrooms. Take our VIRTUAL TOUR of Frenchman's Forest Natural Area.

 
 
 
 
More Resources for Frenchman's Forest Natural Area
Great Florida Birding Trail Institute for Regional Conservation Frenchman's Forest Virtual Tour  
 
Photo Gallery for Frenchman's Forest Natural Area
black and white warbler deer moss white flower red bellied woodpecker
prairie warbler white mangrove goldenrod gayflower
yellow billed cuckoo violet colored flower yellow slikgrass flower pileated woodpecker
beauty berry squirrel gallberry dragonfly
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.