Best Place to Walk Along the River - 2005
Secret Woods Nature Center
Tourists will probably want to take the Jungle Queen to gawk at the waterfront mansions or wallow among the plastic-surgery disasters downtown, but natives have already seen too much of that. For a taste of what the river looked like back in the day when Frank and Ivy Stranahan's clapboard house was the sole example of prime real estate in Fort Lauderdale, try the New River Trail in Secret Woods Nature Center. The 3,200-foot, wheelchair accessible boardwalk winds through live oak hammocks, over a swamp, and under a green canopy of cypress and maples. The New River here is untouched and untamed, teeming with fish, manatees, tiny crabs, pond apple and mangrove trees, wading birds -- and no mansions and only the occasional yacht to mess up your pure, unadulterated nature moment. With gleaming condo buildings growing like beanstalks downtown, it's tough to come by such a pleasant way to experience the river.