8264 Northlake Boulevard, West Palm Beach
Once a key component of the Greater Everglades watershed and the headwaters of the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River, Grassy Waters Preserve is a 23-square-mile wetlands ecosystem comprising wetlands, tree islands, and forested hammocks. The Cypress Boardwalk is 1 mile round trip and offers visitors the opportunity to look for animal residents such as wood storks, white ibis, great blue heron, white-tailed deer, otters, bobcats, and alligators.
12800 Hagen Ranch Road, Boynton Beach
Ted and Trudy Winsberg sold their 100-acre property, previously used for farming, in 1999 for a fraction of its value with the stipulation that it would be converted into wetlands. Today, the nature preserve features 1.5 miles of elevated boardwalks that take visitors through nine different habitats. Scan QR code signs located along the boardwalk with your mobile device to instantly learn more about each zone.
13026 Jog Road, Delray Beach
Constructed on 50 acres of what was once wastewater utility property, Wakodahatchee (which means “created waters” in the Seminole language) includes a 0.75-mile boardwalk that crosses between open-water ponds and islands with shrubs and snags that help foster nesting and roosting. A part of the southern section of the Great Florida Birding Trail, these wetlands boast more than 178 species of birds as well as turtles, alligators, rabbits, fish, frogs, and raccoons.
(In Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park)
11435 Park Access Road, Boca Raton
Go around the back of the nature center to find a 0.6-mile elevated boardwalk with two trails that take you on a journey through a seasonal swamp. The habitat is typically dry during the winter and wet during the summer, attracting different animals during each season. Be sure to stop at the observation tower to look for frequent inhabitants including osprey, woodpeckers, turtles, alligators, and the center’s namesake, the Ruddy Daggerwing butterfly.
Let your fitness take flight by recording bird sightings during your adventures into the eBird.org hot spots for each park. Become a citizen scientist by entering your bird sighting in the eBird kiosk.