Terramar Visitor Center at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park was originally the Fort Lauderdale estate of Hugh Taylor Birch. The property is located on the barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west. State Route A1A traverses the length of the park north/south. The park is right next to Fort Lauderdale Beach, one of the more popular beaches in Florida.

Mr. Birch's original home is now the Terramar Visitor Center. The construction is a mix of Art Deco and Mediterranean. Inside you'll find an environmental display about the local ecosystem and exhibits about the history of the area. The Visitor Center is open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is free with a paid park entrance.

The park has a 1.9-mile scenic drive that is limited to hikers, bikers and inline skaters. All travel is limited to one-way. The Coastal Hammock and Exotic Plant Trails are limited to hiking traffic only. Both trails have interpretive signage along them and feature lots of native plants. The Exotic Plant Trail also features non-native species imported by Mr. Birch when he owned the property.

Canoes and kayaks are available only on the largest of the coastal dune lakes included in the park. Each canoe can hold up to 3 people and rentals run $5.30 (including the tax) per boat. Fishing is allowed only in designated areas of the park.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park offers several picnic areas with playgrounds and barbecue grills near the parking areas. There are three larger pavilions (up to 75 people each) that come with water and electric and rent for $84.80 per day (tax included).

There is a primitive youth group camp available that can accommodate up to 40 campers. The park requires one adult chaperone per 10 youths. The primitive camping area offers restrooms, cold running water, cold showers and a large campfire ring.

The Fort Lauderdale Elks Club built the Elk's Youth Camp in 1950. The Elk's Youth Camp consists of six cabins capable of accommodating up to 68 people in total. Every building comes with restrooms and air conditioning while the lodge contains all the kitchen and dining facilities. There is also an outdoor fire ring. The rules require one adult chaperone per 10 youths.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is open for day use from 8 am until sunset every day of the year. Entry Fees: $6 per vehicle for 2 to 8 occupants; $4 per single occupant vehicle; $2 each for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is located off State Route A1A on East Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.