Discovering the Anne Kolb Nature Center

Located just North of A1A off Sheridan Ave between Hollywood and Dania Beach, the Anne Kolb Nature Center is a 1,500 acre coastal mangrove wetland that is home to a large variety of plants, animals, reptiles and birds— including many endangered species. It makes for a great location for hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking in the mangroves.

Be sure to visit the small welcome center (admission was just over 2$) and look at the various displays, aquariums, and historical maps. It’s amazing to see the growth of this area over the last 50 years with condos and housing projects encroaching all around the park. There are a variety of guides and maps available and kids may enjoy feeding sessions that take place on weekends at 2pm.

The park offers environmental boat tours for 5$ (3$ for kids) with a motorized pontoon boat that takes you through the mangroves. We arrived too late, as these tours are limited when tides are low. You can also rent canoes, paddleboards or kayaks for 14$/hour or 24$ for two hours at the West Lake Park Marina (1200 Sheridan St.) There are also numerous hiking trails and mountain biking paths.

Just behind the welcome center, there is a 6-story observation deck complete with an elevator, which gives a spectacular view of the park and surrounding areas. That said, the sheer size of the park is impressive and you can really feel like you’re in the middle of the wetlands.

A number of raised walking trails take you over the mangroves and out to the open water in the Intracoastal; it makes for a great hike!

Parking and entry was free of charge, there are no grills here or picnic tables but there are some snacks available at the tour/tickets desk. The facilities are available for rent, there was a wedding going on our visit. We also did not see any real place to swim, although just as you come in we did see some rough beach areas where a number of people were hiking.

The Anne Kolb Nature Center is definitely worth a visit, and we will probably return to take a boat tour in the future. That said, for our usual picnic or BBQ outings, we might opt for some of the other local parks that offer these amenities.

South Florida


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