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
   
 
 
Secret Woods Nature Center
raccoon in tree
secret woods
secret woods
secret woods
 

2701 W. State Road 84
Dania Beach

Website

We don't know exactly "secret" Secret Woods really is these days. After all, it's just a short drive from two major downtowns in densely developed Broward County. But the "woods" part of the name is dead on. The nature center, the oldest in the county, is 57 acres of mangrove forest, cypress woods and marine hammock.

It sits along the New River, and provides a glimpse of what Fort Lauderdale might have looked like when the city's namesake army major first arrived in the 1800s. Two trails weave through the center, the Laurel Oak and the New River. The two combined are just short of a mile, making the center an easy place to explore in an afternoon. The Laurel Oak Trail is mostly mulched surface with a series of short bridges. The New River is mostly boardwalk that winds its way through towering oaks, cypress and mangroves to the banks of the river. Manatees, shorebirds, raccoons, crabs, woodpeckers, osprey, hawks, warblers, blue jays and other birds are among the wildlife encountered. There's also a butterfly garden.

There is plenty of parking. The trails are well marked with interpretive signs. The one downside is the limited hours. The center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 
 
 
 
More Resources for Secret Woods Nature Center
Institute for Regional Conservation      
 
Photo Gallery for Secret Woods Nature Center
morning glory ruddy daggerwing pond apple coreopsis
blue mist gay feathers banana spider elderberry
fiddler crab firebush dragonfly
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