Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve – Wilton Manors, FL


I first discovered this park while driving through Wilton Manors with my brother and his girlfriend. I saw what looked like a lush area with some kayaks and was like “oh shit.” I was shocked I let that one slip through my fingers. My brother and I went back shortly after and found a historic house that probably has some artifacts, a short trail made of recycled products, and a boardwalk leading to the South Fork Middle River and Atlantic Coast Kayak Company. The park itself isn’t huge, I’d say quaint. I like the green initiative aspects; all of the walkways, boardwalks, and benches are recycled and the park uses solar lighting. Ain’t that neat. We didn’t do much except walk around and get information about kayak prices on this trip, but I recently went back with my current love interest to do the kayak tour. 

This was my boyfriend’s first time in a kayak. I was excited to show him something new but also disgusted that I’m with someone who has never kayaked. Thankfully he loved it and wants to buy kayaks so it looks like we’re going to make it. We opted for a 2-hour tour because I’m a square and like to hear what the guides say about the area when im in a new place, even if it’s only 20 minutes from home. I actually did learn about some of the buildings, trees, wildlife, and history of the town and river. I forgot most of it but it was interesting at the time. 

It would take about 4 hours to leisurely kayak around the entire island, so on the tour we just went about an hour in and turned around. We saw lots of iguanas, coconuts strewn about, and a green heron next to its nest with eggs in it. Some real Florida shit. I plan to come back with my brother now that I’ve scoped out the scene to rent kayaks or paddleboards on our own and do the full trip. They give you tie-downs so that you can stop at the other parks and restaurants that you pass along the trip. I prefer this environment for kayaking over most of the intracoastal because there are no large boats or other congested waterway traffic to deal with. It’s $40 for the full 4-hour rental which is pretty standard pricing. 

After we finished the tour the owner/our guide screwed some holes in coconuts and gave them a squeeze of lime for us to drink out of, then cracked them open so we could devour the flesh. I’ve never eaten coconut like that so it was a real tourist moment for me. Would go again. 

Park link: Richardson Historic State Park

A message left for us on the boardwalk:

Passing beneath the roads

Mangrove trails

Tight squeeze going underneath a boardwalk of one of the parks that we passed: 

Went under these train tracks: