Thursday, January 26, 2023
CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines is only 15 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Between Hollywood North Beach Park and Dania Beach is the Dr. Von D. Mizell & Eula Johnson State Park. The park is named for Civil Rights Movement leaders who led “wade-in” protests to desegregate South Florida beaches in the 1950s and 1960s. It was once the county’s designated “colored beach” and once bore the name of the Broward County attorney, John U. Lloyd, who was instrumental in transferring ownership of the land to the state, in lieu of being developed for residential high-rises.
This beachside park is the last example of an undeveloped coastal ecosystem in Broward County. The park area encompasses 310 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, stretching from Port Everglades Inlet on the north to Dania on the south.
We were hoping to find the trailhead for the Barrier Island Trail that was listed in AllTrails, but there was no evidence of a trailhead at the very busy beach parking lot. We took off in the direction we assumed the trail would follow and we were able to follow several different paths through the mangroves. In a clearing, we came upon this century plant:
This type of agave can live for 20 to 30 years before sending up a flowering stalk. After it blooms, it dies. But don't worry, there are already several other agave nearby waiting their turn to flower.
We were expecting a cold front to come through and lower the temperature today. Unfortunately, the cold front is slowing down and won't be here until tomorrow. The dense growth of mangrove provided us much welcomed shade.
Kathy stopped to check out a lone palm tree.
The barrier island is divided in half by Whiskey Creek. There are several bridges over the creek.
The Whiskey Creek Paddling Trail is a 3.8-mile loop from creek to Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) that is best paddled on a high or rising tide as portions of the creek are only a few inches deep at low tide. The creek is suitable for beginners if they launch at the park marina or Whiskey Creek Hideout and paddle south towards Dania Marina and then return to their starting point. More experienced paddlers can complete the loop as long as they are aware the ICW is a major shipping channel used by large ships headed in and out of Port Everglades just across from the park. If we decide to paddle, it will definitely be an out-and-back. No need to play with the big boats.
Without the breeze off the ocean, the hiking was hot. We decided to leave the forest and hike back along the beach.
After driving through 15 miles of dense suburbia, it was hard to believe that this area had not be developed. It soon became evident why. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is just west of the park. Planes come in off the ocean and right over the beach. We could stand on the beach and planes would fly right over us!
What a beautiful day for a sail!
After dipping our toes in the water and watching the planes fly by, we worked our way back down the beach toward our parking lot. Along the way, we did a little beachcombing. One of our finds was this bright orange coconut!
It was a good day for sea glass, shells and coral fossils. The little green bead was a fun find.
Our time here in Pembroke Pines is winding down. We may not have another blog while we are here this year. However, there are many adventures to discover at our next stop. Stay tuned.