WARSH GONE WILD

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – Fort Lauderdale, FL

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This state park is an unexpectedly delightful find amidst the gaggle of garbage you can find on Fort Lauderdale Beach.  

FTL beach itself is not my favorite; it is frequented by lots of people which means actual garbage is often left behind, there’s construction on A1A due to ongoing efforts to rebuild after past hurricanes, and drunk people love Lulu’s and Fat Tuesday. I’m more of a chill zone type of person and would prefer pristine serenity over limited, expensive parking and crowds. That being said, Hugh Taylor Birch is a peaceful park with more to offer then you’d initially think. It’s north of Beach Place and the hooligans so it’s near a calmer part of the beach.  

Signs say gopher tortoise crossing and they ain’t kidding. Drive carefully as you enter the park.   These little dudes are protected so don’t fuck with them.  

HTB is located at the corner of Sunrise Blvd and A1A between the ocean and the intracoastal. The park entrance fee is $6 for cars. You then can park there to access the beach via an underground tunnel.

  

As you can see, it’s certainly not the white sands of the gulf coast. However, we walked out into the water past the seaweed and had a grand ol time swimming in perfectly clear water just as we would at other other beach so whatever. It’s fine. You’ll live. 

Within the park there are picnic areas lining the intracoastal, hammock trails, a freshwater lagoon for kayaking or canoeing, and biking areas. Pay for a canoe/kayak rental at the ranger station where you pay your entrance fee, grab paddles and life jackets (if you’re a scared ass bitch), then drive to the first parking lot to the right of the stop sign once you drive into the park. You can easily walk to the lagoon from here, and one of the trails also starts at the end of the lot. When you get the the lagoon area you just pick whatever vessel you want and drag that shit to the water. There are no attendants or anyone posted up on canoe watch. Thank the lawd because I tipped twice into the muck trying to get into that dang thing. Shit’s wobbly. 

        

It’s $5.30 to rent a canoe for an hour. The lagoon is a mile long so out and back would be a 2-mile trip. The cool thing about the canoes is that they’re cheap, the bad thing is that you can only paddle so far before the plant life gets dense and you really can only pass through with a kayak.  I saw lots of fish, ducks, other birds, and iguanas. 
        

Biking here was fun. Nothing crazy with special ramps or anything, just paths through the trees and by the water.  

    

Near the lagoon there are also bicycle rentals, snacks and drinks, and Segway tours. For more information about the park, visit the Florida state park website for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park or read more on Trip Advisor – Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

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