Wild South Florida — Naturally Wild
 
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The Ultimate Guide to the Outdoors and Environment in Broward, Collier, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties.
   
Almanac Places to Visit
   
 
 
   
Long Key Nature Center
long key
long key
long key
 

3501 SW 130th Avenue
Davie

Website

The name might seem odd at first for a place in the middle of Broward County. But it wasn't all that long ago that Long Key was an island, part of a small chain in the River of Grass. Of course that was before Gov. Bonaparte Broward, the county's namesake, decided to drain as much of the Everglades as he possibly could. There's not much that's island-like now, but there is a restored wetland and a hardwood hammock filled with some of the most magnificient live oak trees in South Florida. The area provides habitat for for birds, foxes and bobcat.

Long Key is also host to a host of butterfly species. This place is almost Butterfly World without the admission fee (and of course without quite the extensive and exotic species list). We spotted dozens of swallowtails, malachites, monarchs, daggerwings, zebras and whites without trying hard.

The park is about 165 acres situated off Flamingo Road. Long Key offers short hiking trails, generally easy going, and some equestrian trails. There's plenty of parking, drinking water and restrooms in the nature center. The one drawback: the hours — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. most days of the year — which limits access for many people during the week.

 
 
 
 
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Photo Gallery for Long Key Nature Center
malachite butterfly daggerwing
beautyberry elderberry waterlily
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.