The city of Fort Lauderdale is known for its stunning shores, exciting events, and wide variety of local shops. There’s one more thing for which “The Venice of America” is known, and that’s its bounty of environmental beauty! Though usually considered an urban paradise, Fort Lauderdale also offers several destinations perfectly suited for any nature enthusiast. Here’s everything you need to know about Fern Forest Nature Center, one of our favorite attractions!
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What You Need to Know About the Fern Forest Nature Center
About the Center
The Fern Forest Nature Center is a 247-acre designated urban wilderness area located in Coconut Creek, Florida, just 30 minutes away from greater Fort Lauderdale. The center is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail and takes its name from the abundance of native ferns (more than 30 species) found on the property. This botanical richness has attracted several researchers, including some from Florida Atlantic University and Broward College. It’s one of the most beautiful and well-preserved native plant communities in South Florida! Additionally, the Fern Forest Nature Center offers plenty of on-site events and makes for an ideal event rental space.
Fern Forest Nature Center Trails
One of the most popular ways to take advantage of this unique outdoor attraction is to go hiking! Bring plenty of sunscreen and water, then embark on an educational walk through the woods! Below are some of the trails offered at the center.
- Cypress Creek Trail: A ½ mile long, wheelchair-accessible boardwalk that winds through a tropical hardwood forest and cypress-maple swamp.
- Prairie Overlook Trail: A mile-long trail that loops through an open prairie and oak forest. This route even includes an eight-foot tall observation platform!
- Red Maple Walk: At just ⅓ mile long, this trail is short but often soggy and muddy. Bring boots you don’t mind getting dirty!
- Wetlands Wander: This interpretive trail runs along a canal and offers fabulous views of South Florida’s natural wetlands (and a butterfly garden)!
- Sensory Garden Trail: This is less of a hiking trail and more of a quiet area designed for maximum relaxation.
What Else Does the Center Offer?
Trails are just the beginning of what you’ll be able to explore at this nature center. There are so many different kiosks, boardwalks, and exhibits to enjoy when visiting the Fern Forest Nature Center! Here are some of the amenities available to guests here.
- Exhibit Hall: An indoor spot where visitors of all ages can enjoy live displays of native reptiles
- Royal Fern Hall: A 2,343-foot assembly hall with a warming kitchen and buffet counter
- Amphitheater: A covered, open gathering spot available for weddings and concerts
- “Fern-Lore Guardian”: A bronze work of original sculpture created by Jerome Meadows
- Picnic area: An outdoor gathering place featuring six picnic tables
- Shelter: An outdoor, covered spot with eight picnic tables, electricity, water, and lights.
Fort Lauderdale has so many attractions and activities to offer! Our beaches, parks, and nature centers like this one and the Anne Kolb Nature Center are some of the best in South Florida. Experience it all with a stay in one of our beautiful vacation rentals, complete with fantastic amenities found nowhere else! Whether you’re searching for a cozy condo just steps away from Las Olas Boulevard or an elegant, spacious home in Wilton Manors, we have an accommodation that perfectly suits your needs. You can even bring your four-legged friend along to our pet-friendly homes.
Start your South Florida adventure today by checking our availability and booking your stay! We can’t wait to host you and yours.
Like the idea of visiting this natural attraction? If so, we recommend reading about the John U. Lloyd Beach State Park next!