Ft. Lauderdale’s “Central Park” was gifted to the city by Hugh Taylor Birch for whom this urban oasis is named.
The ocean-side city of Fort Lauderdale has a population density of 4,761 people per square mile. However, residents are fortunate to have their own slice of wilderness amid the highly developed Miami metro area. Hugh Taylor Birch is the city’s own Central Park, complete with gopher tortoises and boat access from the intracoastal waterway. It’s easy to see why Hugh Taylor Birch wanted to preserve his estate for future generations to enjoy—it’s an oasis perfect for relaxation and exercise. The park is a vibrant center for the community of Fort Lauderdale, and residents take pleasure in activities from rollerblading to reading under the shade of palms and oaks.
Visitors can access the beach via the pedestrian tunnel under A1A. Picnic areas overlook the channel; pavilions with water and electricity are available for rental. A group/youth campground is available to organized groups. The Terramar Visitor Center features displays regarding the area's natural and cultural history.
The park drive is 1.9 miles and is very popular with bicyclers and in-line skaters alike. The drive is one-way and bicyclers and skaters are required to observe this restriction. The park’s trails are not officially designated as biking trails. However, some trails do accommodate bikes. Please ask for information and directions at the park. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.
The Fort Lauderdale Elks Club built the Elks Youth Camp in 1950 for non-profit youth groups. At least one adult chaperone is required per 10 youths, ages 18 and under. Chaperones must be at least 21 years of age. The camp accommodates 68 people in six cabins, all with restrooms and air conditioning. The lodge provides complete kitchen and dining facilities. A fire ring is available for campfires. Pets are not permitted overnight. Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park.
For additional information, or to make reservations, please call 954-564-4521.
Camping, Primitive Group
Our Youth Group Primitive Campsite is open for reservations! Reservations are secured at $75 per night plus tax for groups up to 10. Additional camping rates are $5 plus tax per person per night for additional campers.
Primitive group camping is available to organized youth groups only. Youth groups require at least one adult chaperone per 10 youths, ages 18 and under. Chaperones must be at least 21 years of age. The camp accommodates up to 50 people per overnight stay in tents, with a composting toilet system and a primitive shower available. Fires are permitted in the campfire circle and barbecue grill only. Firewood will be provided by the park. Fires may be prohibited during dry periods. The fire should not be built too high, and before any fires are built, please contact the Ranger Station. Once the park has closed, the group must remain within the vicinity of the Primitive Camp as roaming about the park is not permitted after hours.
For additional information, or to make reservations, please call 954-564-4521.
Rentals may be obtained from the park's concessionaire located at the Beach Gate/Concession access in the park, and adjacent to A1A. Rentals are available on the largest of the park's coastal dune lakes and in some cases at the beach.
Fishing is a popular activity at the park and is allowed in any public access area and only from the Intracoastal Waterway seawall. No fishing is permitted in waters, such as the mangroves or the coastal dune lake, within the interior of the park. Please mind 'No Fishing' signs. Fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.
All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
The Coastal Hammock Trail provides hikers a 20-minute leisurely walk through a native maritime tropical hardwood hammock ecosystem, some of the last designated within Broward County. Interpretive signs along the trail provide information about the habitat and native flora. The Mid Trail gives a different view of the park by including many plants brought here by Mr. Birch. A self-guided Audio Tour may be taken through your personal cell phone. Please inquire at the Ranger Station for the Mid Trail Audio Tour information. The tour is free at this time, but donations are appreciated for maintaining the program. All donations go to the park’s 'Friends' group, Friends of Birch State Park, Inc. Stations are marked with numbers 1–12. This .75-mile walk winds its way through a mix of native vegetation and non-native species and offers the listener an historical and ecological overview of the park.
Several shaded picnic areas with playground equipment, pavilions and barbecue grills are conveniently located close to parking throughout the park. Pavilions 1 and 2 are located under a shaded canopy and a reasonable walk to the Beach Gate Entrance. Pavilion 3 is located with a lovely view of the Intracoastal Waterway. Each of the three picnic pavilions is equipped with electricity and water and can accommodate approximately 75 people. The pavilions may be rented for $84.80 per day, tax included.
Swimming is available on the beach adjacent to the park. Guests can access the beach through the Beach Gate Entrance. MCruz Rentals Concession is located at the Beach Gate and guests can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, kayaks and other services. No swimming is permitted within any interior park waters such as the Mangroves or Coastal Dune Lake.
Join us at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park to take a ranger guided walk every Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. You will hear the stories of the past and get the feel of what Mr. Hugh Taylor Birch would have seen when landing on the shores of Ft. Lauderdale. You will also learn about the Flora & Fauna of the 5 natural communities that make up Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Free Guided Walk with your entrance fee. All Participants will meet at the entrance station.
Week 1: Coral Reef and Dunes
Week 2: Maritime Hammock
Week 3: Coastal Dune Lake and Terramar
Week 4: Tropical Hardwood Hammock
Week 5: Mangrove Forest
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park offers premier birding for novice and experts alike. The park is known for many sightings of Caribbean species as well as migratory species, with over 250 species on the park’s bird list. The park is listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail Guide. Other wildlife, such as the threatened Gopher Tortoise and the common Raccoon may be encountered. Please do not touch or feed our wildlife as this is detrimental to the animal.
Guests may inquire to see our park’s live animal exhibits by pre-arrangement. Our native live exhibits include a threatened Eastern Indigo, Corn Snakes, Rat Snakes and Diamondback Terrapin Turtles.
Join us for a Live Animal Presentation at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. You will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with several Florida native reptile species through education.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is committed to providing and expanding a variety of accessible amenities to all of its visitors. Those amenities include:
A beach wheel chair is available at our Beach Concession.
Large Print versions of our Park Brochure are available upon request.
Audio versions of our Park Brochure are available upon request.
A 1-mile Audio Tour of the park is available FREE to all park guests.
A quarter mile trail, called the "Rail Trail" is accessible all.
All large pavilions are accessible.
Beach Concession Restroom.
Our Youth Camp Facility, with full Lodge and cabin 6 is accessible.
Accessible picnic tables are located through out the park.
The park is adjacent to Fort Lauderdale Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the state. Beach access is open 9a.m. - 5 p.m., daily. During the summer months, south Florida beaches host one of the largest loggerhead sea turtle nesting grounds in the world. Nests will be marked, so please mind the designated areas as well as other sensitive habitats which contain some designated species including sea oats and beach peanut. Please mind the lifeguard flags when swimming, indicating water and surf conditions or rip currents. During the summer, if you are visiting our beaches in the evening, please use red L.E.D. lighting only as white light startles nesting female sea turtles and potentially disorients hatchling sea turtles.
Ranger-guided tours in the vicinity of the building, and near its adjacent Sensitive Habitats, are available by pre-arrangement. Please inquire at the Ranger Station. The Terramar Visitor Center is Hugh Taylor Birch's home. Built in 1940, it is a mix of Mediterranean and Art Deco styles. It contains displays of the history of the area and an environmental display of this unique ecosystem.
The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; CLOSED Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Admission is free with paid park entrance.