A Green South Florida
July 18, 2017
Brightline Shares Top Parks & Nature Preserves to Explore the Great Outdoors
South Florida boasts a collection of parks, nature preserves and green spaces ideal for escaping the everyday hustle and bustle. Whether seeking a quiet park for an afternoon stroll, a nature preserve home to wildlife or a hiking trail to explore for the day, there are a variety of scenic spots awaiting visitors and residents. Brightline has compiled a list of beloved green spaces in each of its three future cities – Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach that are home to picturesque bodies of water, sensational views and a wide-array of outdoor activities suitable for all ages.
Virginia Key Beach Park
Located less than a 15-minute drive from Brightline’s MiamiCentral station and just off the Rickenbacker Causeway, historic Virginia Key Beach Park offers travelers a lush, green reprieve home to nature, preservation and recreation. Guests can stroll the replenished, mile-long shoreline, hike or bike trails, explore the nature boardwalk, picnic under one of the shaded pavilions or take a wetland excursion on the famed “Biscayne Virginia Rickenbacker Central.” For more information, please visit www.virginiakeybeachpark.net.
Crandon Park is an excellent option for Brightline riders to experience a fun-filled afternoon in Miami. Guests to the park, which is located on Key Biscayne, can explore the various ecosystems including dunes, mangroves, and seagrass beds, in addition to its two-mile long beach home to herons, ospreys, butterflies, songbirds, hawks and sea turtles. Adventurers can choose from an array of activities including naturalist-guided hammock hikes, kayaking, kite boarding, tennis and golf. Crandon Park is also home to The Bear Cut Preserve, which serves as a window to the wilderness that was once South Florida. For more information, please visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/crandon.asp.
Home to a lush 32 acres on Biscayne Bay, Bayfront Park is a short walk away for Brightline riders to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Miami skyline. Guests love frequenting Bayfront Park to watch the boats and cruise ships come and go, listen to live music or dine at one of the Park’s scenic waterfront restaurants. For more information, please visit www.bayfrontparkmiami.com.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a top spot for Brightline riders looking to enjoy an afternoon outdoors. Featuring a freshwater lagoon and diverse wildlife habitat, the Park offers biking, hiking and fishing for nature lovers of all ages. Picnic areas also offer a beautiful location for travelers to enjoy a seaside snack or meal. For more information, please visit www.floridastateparks.org/park/Hugh-Taylor-Birch.
Secret Woods Nature Center
Broward County’s first-ever Nature Center, Secret Woods is a 57-acre site designated as an Urban Wilderness Area, offering visitors unique nature, wildlife and Fort Lauderdale charm. A quick 10-minute drive from the Brightline station, visitors can soak in their surroundings at the park’s 3,800-square-foot butterfly garden, 3,200-foot boardwalk trail, and 1,200-foot Laurel Oak Nature Trail, home to pond apples trees, white mangroves, a variety of palms, live oaks and a lush tidal marsh. For more information, please visit http://www.broward.org/Parks/Pages/Park.aspx?=32.
Brightline riders traveling with their furry friends should head to Snyder Park, a paradise for owners to bring their dogs to swim and play. In addition to its Bark Park, Snyder Park features a flourishing Butterfly Garden, fishing at West Lake, nature trails and the most challenging disc golf course in all of South Florida. For more information, please visit www.fortlauderdale.gov.
West Palm Beach
Covering more than 900 acres and encompassing two lakes, Okeeheelee Park is the perfect destination for Brightline riders to escape for a day- whether seeking relaxation or adventure. Visitors can take advantage of the park’s biking and hiking trails or venture on the water for boating, fishing or water skiing. Sport enthusiasts will also love the park’s 27-hole golf course, baseball fields, tennis courts and BMX biking area. For more information, please visit www.visitwpb.com/okeeheelee-park.
Mounts Botanical Gardens
An oasis in the heart of West Palm Beach, a short 15-minute drive from the Brightline station, Mounts Botanical Gardens is the oldest and largest public botanical garden in the Palm Beaches. Guests can marvel at the garden’s 2,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants from six continents, exotic trees, tropical fruits, herbs, citrus and palms. For more information, please visit www.mounts.org.
Grassy Waters Preserve
Brightline riders looking for a one-of-a-kind Everglades experience should head to Grassy Waters Preserve, a 23-mile wetland ecosystem offering a mosaic of wetlands, tree islands and forested hammocks. Animal lovers flock to Grassy Waters for the preserve’s abundance of wildlife, with commonly sighted species including the Everglades snail kite, wood stork, white ibis, great blue heron, white tailed deer, otter, bobcat and alligator. For more information, please visit www.wpb.org/grassywaters.