Hiking in Pompano Beach allows you to immerse yourself in the thriving South Florida wildlife while never straying too far from home. Indulge in the fresh air, stunning views, and the comforting hum of nature surrounding you. For a powerful cardio workout, a fun day trip for the whole family, or a few hours of quiet meditation, check out these Pompano Beach trails.
1. Pompano Airpark Trail
- Located: 1001 NE 10 Street, Pompano Beach, FL 33060
- Length and Texture: 4.5 miles, paved
- Amenities: Public restrooms, dog park, sports fields
- Pets Allowed: Yes
The Pompano Airpark Trail is located within Pompano Beach Airpark. The area received its name from the Pompano Beach Airport, which was constructed during World War II as a satellite training field. In 1947, the city reclaimed the land, limiting the airport's usage to general aviation such as helicopters and air charters. It's marked by the blimp base on the west side of the park, which houses the famous Goodyear Blimp.
The Pompano Beach Airpark boasts a municipal golf course, swimming pool, tennis facility, community park, and amphitheater. Yet, most locals enjoy the area because of its trail. The Airpark Trail is 4.5 miles of asphalt track, making it a smooth hike. The paved trail can also be used for jogging, roller blades, and bikes.
2. Crystal Lake Natural Area
- Located: 3299 NE 3rd Ave, Pompano Beach, Florida 33064
- Length and Texture: 0.4 miles, paved & unpaved
- Amenities: Public restrooms, covered shelter, seating areas
- Pets Allowed: No
Crystal Lake Natural Area is a 24-acre patch of preserved scrub forest designed to protect the unique ecology of the area. Composed of sand pines, tallow-wood, gopher apple, and sand live oak, Crystal Lake is one of the only remaining sand pine scrub communities in Broward County. Where the county used to be composed entirely of scrub and marsh, less than 2 percent of the original sand pine scrub remains today.
This patch of wilderness offers a much-needed break from the urban lifestyle most South Florida residents are accustomed to. Wandering through Crystal Lake, one can easily spot a variety of wildlife, including the gray fox, gopher tortoise, and zebra swallowtail butterfly. Choose to hike the Gray Fox Trail or Sand Pine Trail, both options are low difficulty and perfect for beginners or children.
3. Fern Forest Nature Trail
- Located: 201 Lyons Rd. South, Pompano Beach, FL 33063
- Length and Texture: 2.4 miles, unpaved with overarching boardwalk
- Amenities: Public restrooms, picnic area, exhibit hall
- Pets Allowed: No
Dubbed as an "urban oasis," Fern Forest sticks true to its name. More than 30 varieties of ferns grow within its confines, including the endangered whisk fern. Fern Forest's 247 acres surround the original floodplain of Cypress Creek before water management canals altered the area's natural hydrology. The area suffered irreversible loss as it was drained to expand Florida's population into the Everglades, but the towering and leafy ferns, as well as thick cypress stumps, serve as a reminder of what it once was.
Fern Forest is home to four trails which amount to 2.2 miles. The boardwalk extends across the center loops, allowing you to explore all corners of the forest. The trail does close before the Nature Center that marks it, so be mindful of time when choosing to explore.
4. Deerfield Highlands Nature Trail
- Located: 701 NE 41st St, Pompano Beach, FL 33064
- Length and Texture: 0.4 miles, paved
- Amenities: Seating areas, picnic area, educational displays
- Pets Allowed: No
Deerfield Highlands is a 34-acre protected natural area, another of Broward County's last sand pine scrub communities. Scrub oaks, gopher apple, and prickly pear cactus plants grow high and wide in the ecological area. As with Crystal Lake, gopher tortoises and gray foxes can be spotted among wildlife, as well as an array of migrating birds.
While the Deerfield Highlands Nature Preserve Trail isn't the longest, there's a lot to see - and read. The paved path is dotted with educational displays and signs which are incredibly informative about the wildlife in the area. The smaller size and informative nature of this trail make it a perfect excursion for children.
5. Exchange Club Park Trail
- Located: 2888 NE 24th St, Pompano Beach, FL 33062
- Length and Texture: 0.5 miles, unpaved but mulched
- Amenities: Public restroom, beach access
- Pets Allowed: Yes
In September 2015, Exchange Club Park was temporarily closed to remove invasive plant species which had overrun the park. Of some of the non-native species, large Australian pines which had shaded the area were cleared and chipped down to create a walking path throughout the park.
The 14-acre park runs along a bend in the Intracoastal, which flows with water from the nearby inlet. To locals, this waterway is considered a dog-heaven. Both the trail and the water are open to dogs of all sizes, no registration fee or hourly restrictions required. Take your pup for a stroll or a swim, and enjoy the day.
Why Would I Choose to Hike?
Hiking is a workout that feels nothing like exercise. Of course, strenuous trails can get your legs pumping and have you walking through some thick terrain. However, the lush greenery, smells of nature, and picturesque views make each hike an adventure worthy of the calories you're burning.
Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that can offer a plethora of health benefits:
- Boost bone density
- Strengthen the core
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Improve balance and coordination
- Improve blood sugar and blood pressure levels
- Build strength in the muscles of the hips, lower legs, glutes, and hamstrings
Aside from physical benefits, hiking benefits the mind as well. According to the American Hiking Society, hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
The Benefits of Exploring Pompano Beach
With 52 parks and facilities in the area, there are plenty of other outdoor activities in Pompano Beach aside from hiking. One can bike, roller blade, skate, or even swim to take full advantage of everything Pompano Beach has to offer. And, with good reason.
Spending time outdoors in Pompano Beach is good for the body, mind, and soul, and has scientifically been proven to:
- Mitigate pain
- Provide Vitamin D
- Enhance creativity
- Reduce stress levels
- Restore concentration
- Boost energy levels naturally
- Improve immune system with chemicals produced by plants
Seasonal conditions, such as allergies, can also improve with exposure to the great outdoors. Researchers have also found that sunlight can prevent myopia - or nearsightedness - in children. Spending time outdoors, exploring Pompano Beach and beyond, can be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Ask any chiropractor in Pompano Beach, and they'll tell you that time in nature is critical for a healthy body. At ChiroCare of Florida, our physicians recommend our patients actively participate in low-impact activities outdoors. Walking, swimming, and even yoga in the park can all help improve joint pain, improve recovery time, and improve overall mood. Our doctors take their own advice, with many of our ChiroCare of Florida doctors, such as Dr. Steven Schwartz and Dr. Sean Driscoll, spending their time outside of the office outdoors fishing, swimming, and playing with their dogs.
If you're a Pompano Beach resident, or live in the South Florida area, give these Pompano Beach hiking trails a try. You might just find one you love.