Mile Marker 36 Interstate 75
The Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area is vast and wild, extending from north of Interstate 75 southward to Everglades National Park. It"s 670,000 acres in all. Despite its vast size, access is limited — the interior can be reached only by air boat. However, you can get a glimpse of it — more than a glimpse, really — at four rest stops along Interstate 75 west of its junction with U.S. 27 in Broward County.
Two are on each side of the Interstate; the most eastern have boat ramps and picnic tables and shelters. The two farther west have more facilities and are connected by an underpass. The north side includes a boat ramp, observation tower, informational kiosks, picnic tables and shelters. The same facilities are on the south side, plus a visitor center with some exhibits, restrooms, drinking fountains and vending machines. There"s fishing from the docks on both sides. There"s also boat ramps along the area"s southern boundary, reachable by U.S. 41.
The rest stops are included as part of the Everglades Trail and the Great Florida Birding Trail. Species spotted include white checkered butterfly, white peacock butterfly, blue dasher and halloween pennant dragonflies, climbing hempvine, spadderdock, butterfly weed, ibis, cormorants, grackles, red-winged black birds, black vultures, turkey vultures and more. Unless you have a boat, this isn"t really a destination in and of itself, but would make a nice stop on the way to someplace else. Francis S. Taylor is maintained by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
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