I stumbled upon this amazing state park recently and was immediately taken back in time: open grasslands mixed with wet prairie, scrub, and pine flatwoods – a scene from the pre-urban-sprawl “real” Florida!
Comprising over 7,000 acres, this unique preserve protects southeast Florida’s largest freshwater marsh and provides habitat for many threatened species such as scrub jays, gopher tortoises, and sandhill cranes, as well as the rare savannas mint and fragrant prickly apple, which grow almost exclusively in this park.
There are over 15 miles of multi-use trails enjoyed by hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians alike. Canoeists and kayakers can launch from the ramp or join a guided canoe/kayak tour offered every Friday and Saturday at 8:30am. Fishing is allowed with the proper licenses. Picnic pavilions are on a first-come/first-served basis, and restrooms are nearby. Also be sure to check out the live exhibits and gift shop in the Education Center (open Thursday to Monday). Overnight camping is not permitted. This is a small but mighty park worth a visit and hike/paddle if you are in the area.