Pretty Lake with reflection of trees in the water

Best South Florida Scenic Parks and Natural Areas

Of course, we can start off with the amazing National parks found in South Florida.

Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, and of course Dry Tortugas National Park.

But sometimes we just want a nice place to set out the blanket and hang out in the sun without heading to a National park.

Walk, relax, run the pup, run me lol Stroll the boardwalk around a lake.

We love biking, nature trails, and paved trails, so we decided to compile a list of the best parks in South Florida.

There is something special about looking at all the beautiful birds and wildlife in South Florida.

Taking in the scenic pine flatwoods, the intercoastal waterway and mangrove forests is part of everyday life when looking for the best parks in south Florida.

Markham park picture sign

1. Marcum Park

16001 W. State Rd. 84,

Sunrise, FL 33326

With over 660 acres in Broward County is Marcum Park, a park with all the amenities.

They have some very technical mountain bike trails with twists and turns and a few nice rock gardens to navigate.

Paved trails for jogging or skating pass by the manicured picnic tables, playgrounds, lake, boat launch areas, and dog park.

There is an outdoor shooting range that allows licensed visitors to shoot trap and skeet along with rifles and pistols.

There is so much room to walk and ride you won’t be upset if you planned a visit to this beautiful South Florida park.


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Dog Swimming in Park in South Florida

2. Snyder Park

3299 SW 4th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

This is potentially my dog’s favorite park. With a big dog run and a dog-specific pond for your furry friends. Let them jump in and enjoy a refreshing swim.

Find the boardwalk that twists through the lush foliage or the other natural areas, and just enjoy being outdoors and getting lost.

The wildlife is abundant and many migratory birds can be found along the edges of the waterways.

Sit and have a picnic at one of the pavilions or enjoy a free round of frisbee golf.

Snyder Park is a peaceful and picturesque park located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Spanning over 92 acres, the park features a variety of attractions and amenities for visitors of all ages.

Snyder Park has an extensive network of trails, which wind through lush tropical vegetation and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The park is also home to a large lake, where visitors can go fishing, boating, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the water.

There are also several athletic fields and courts, including soccer fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts.

In addition to its recreational amenities, Snyder Park also has a rich cultural and historical legacy. The park is home to the historic Kester Cottages, a pair of restored cottages that offer a glimpse into the early history of Fort Lauderdale.

You can also explore the park’s butterfly garden, which showcases a variety of native plant species and attracts a wide range of butterflies and other pollinators.

Snyder Park is a beautiful and versatile destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax in nature, get active and play sports, or learn about the history and culture of Fort Lauderdale, Snyder Park is a must-visit destination in South Florida.


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Palm Trees in outdoor park with gravel pathway in Florida

3. Vista- View Park

4001 S.W. 142nd Ave.

Davie, FL 33330

Just outside of Fort Lauderdale, there is the mountain of Broward County. This is my favorite park to run at. You have some great elevation gain (65 ft) and beautiful views from the top.

Enjoy the fresh air as you walk and explore all the park has to offer. With a lovely picnic area, playgrounds, airfields, and fitness facility you will be up and active. There is plenty of wildlife to see and one animal you might be surprised to see are horses on the equestrian trails that run through the park.

Vista View Park is a picturesque and tranquil park located in Davie, Florida. Spanning over 272 acres, this beautiful park offers visitors a variety of attractions and amenities to enjoy.

One of the most notable features of Vista View Park is its stunning views. The park is perched atop an old landfill, providing sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Everglades, and the Atlantic Ocean.

You can take in the views from one of several observation decks, or explore the park’s extensive network of hiking and biking trails.

For those interested in sports and recreation, Vista View Park has several athletic fields and courts, including soccer fields, basketball courts, and a disc golf course. There’s also a playground and picnic area for families and groups.

In addition to its recreational amenities, Vista View Park also has a thriving equestrian community. The park features a horse trail and riding ring, as well as stables and boarding facilities for horses and riders.

Vista View Park is a unique and beautiful destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to take in stunning views, explore the park’s trails, or enjoy outdoor activities with friends and family, Vista View Park is a must-visit destination in South Florida.


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Wetland of South Florida in Big Cypress National Park

4. Big Cypress National Preserve

Located in south Florida, Big Cypress National Preserve is a sprawling wilderness area known for its lush swamps, towering cypress trees, and diverse array of wildlife.

Spanning over 700,000 acres, the preserve is home to a wide range of habitats, from freshwater marshes and hardwood hammocks to pine rocklands and open prairies.

One of the most striking features of Big Cypress National Preserve is its vast expanse of wetlands, which serve as critical habitats for numerous species of birds, fish, and reptiles.

The preserve is also home to the elusive Florida panther, along with other endangered and threatened species such as the West Indian manatee and the wood stork.

Explore the preserve via a network of hiking trails, boardwalks, and canoe routes, offering unparalleled opportunities for wildlife viewing and outdoor recreation. Popular activities include birdwatching, fishing, kayaking, and camping. There are also several ranger-led tours and educational programs available throughout the year.

In addition to its natural beauty and ecological importance, Big Cypress also has a rich cultural history, with evidence of human habitation dating back thousands of years. You can explore ancient shell mounds, historic hunting camps, and other archaeological sites that offer a glimpse into the region’s past.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Big Cypress National Preserve is a must-visit destination in south Florida.


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Pretty Lake with reflection of trees in the water

5. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Miami

Miami-Dade County is home to a stunning array of public and private gardens, showcasing the diverse flora and fauna of South Florida. Whether you’re a botany enthusiast, nature lover, or just looking for a peaceful retreat, you will love Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a 83-acre oasis located in Coral Gables.

Featuring over 3,000 species of plants, including rare and endangered species, the garden is a beautiful and educational destination for visitors of all ages. Other highlights include butterfly and hummingbird exhibits, a tropical fruit pavilion, and art installations from local and international artists.

Whether you’re a longtime resident or first-time visitor to Miami-Dade, exploring these beautiful and unique gardens is a great way to connect with nature and discover the rich history and culture of the region.



6. Frenchman’s ForestB

12201 Prosperity Farms Road,

Palm Beach Gardens

Home to over 500 animals and 200 species of plants this is a 170+ acre retreat. This is one of many Palm Beach county parks that help you escape.

The paved trail system is well-planned and offers great views of wading birds, migratory birds and a ton of other wildlife. Florida visitors enjoy the amenities and calming effect that this area has.

Just off the Intracoastal waterway, you are close to Florida’s beautiful beaches but in another world.



Sign for Collier Seminole National Park

7. Collier-Seminole State Park

Nestled in the heart of the Everglades, Collier-Seminole State Park is a 7,271-acre natural oasis that offers visitors a glimpse into the unique ecosystems and wildlife of South Florida. The park is named for Barron Collier, a prominent businessman and landowner in the region, and the Seminole Indians who once inhabited the area.

One of the most notable features of the park is its extensive network of waterways, including the Blackwater River, which winds through the park’s mangrove swamps and cypress forests. Visitors can explore the river by canoe or kayak, or take a guided boat tour to learn more about the diverse flora and fauna of the area.

In addition to its waterways, Collier-Seminole State Park also has several hiking trails, including the popular 6.5-mile Collier-Seminole Trail, which winds through pine forests and wetlands. Other activities include camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The park is home to a variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals, including the elusive Florida panther and American crocodile.

Collier-Seminole State Park also has a museum and visitor center that showcases the cultural and natural history of the area. Exhibits include artifacts from the Seminole Wars, vintage tools and equipment used by early settlers, and interactive displays on the park’s ecosystems and wildlife.



Final Thoughts On The Best Parks In South Florida

If you are looking to save some money on your vacation to South Florida spending a day outdoors in one of the best parks in South Florida is a great way to do it. Take a break from the beach, but still enjoy the outdoors.

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