At roughly 625 acres, Tradewinds Park & Stables is one of Broward County’s largest and most diverse parks. On the south side of Sample Road, you’ll find a disc golf course, a lake for fishing, athletic fields, and world-famous Butterfly World. On the north side of Sample, the park offers horse stables, an educational farm, and model steam train rides. Both sides of the park include playgrounds and picnic areas, as well as rental shelters of various sizes.
This 247.1-acre Designated Urban Wilderness Area takes its name from the abundance of ferns (more than 30 species) found on the property. It was this botanical richness that attracted the interest of scientists from Florida Atlantic University and Broward Community College (now Broward College), who in 1979 published an article called “A Tropical Fern Grotto in Broward County, Florida” in the American Fern Journal. “Vegetation in the area is complex, with swamp forest, hammocks, pinelands, and fallow fields,” noted the article. The researchers indicated that they had discovered “over 200 species of plants, and the list grows with each visit,” and characterized the site as “the last remaining stronghold of ferns in southeastern Florida.” In fact, 10 plant communities have been identified within the nature center, making it one of the finest examples of preserved native plant communities in South Florida. The nature center is also part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
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