West Creek Pineland Natural Area

Broward County

green heron
4900 West Hillsboro Boulevard
Coconut Creek


At 7.43 acres, West Creek Pineland Natural Area is one of the smallest natural areas in the region. It's hardly a destination in and of itself, but there are three neighboring natural areas within walking distance or a short drive. And like its neighbors, the predominant habitat is pine flatwoods — tall slash pines mixed with saw palmetto, wild coffee, Florida trema on the margins, with tangles of muscadine, greenbriar, virginia creeper and poison ivy.

West Creek Pineland straddles the C5 canal, which flows northward into the Hillsboro Canal a short distance to the north. There is a trail, but it cuts along the back of the property rather than through it. The flatwoods shelter song birds and other small animals, the C5 is a magnet for wading birds.

It's the perfect place to sit with a sandwich and enjoy a bit of nature during a lunch break, or to take an evening stroll, bike ride or roller blade but not so much getting lost in nature.

History: The land that makes up the West Creek Pineland was once part of a larger slash pine forest and the Hillsboro River watershed until the dredging of the Hillsboro Canal and its feeder canals, including the C5, beginning in 1911. The canals eliminated the river, drained and opened up the area to farming and development. Broward County bought the land for $1.2 million using proceeds of the Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond Program approved by voters in 2000.

What You'll See: There are no trails through the pine flatwoods. Rather a concrete trail runs along the southern boundary of the property, the flatwoods appreciated at a slight distance. Wading birds — green herons, tricolored herons, little blues and great blues, frequent the waters of the C5. The area does have an abundance of butterflies — Broward County managers say 15 species have been spotted here. We've seen julia, white peacock, zebra longwing and gulf fritiliary butterflies during our visits.

Amenities: There is the aforementioned hard-surface trail, gazebo along the banks of the C5, sitting areas, interpretive signs and a 100-foot pedestrian bridge. There is no parking (there is public parking at the Helene Klein Pineland Natural Area almost directly across West Hillsboro), no drinking water or restrooms.

Nearby: There two other small natural areas within walking distance of West Creek Pineland, the Helene Klein Pinelands Preserve and the Saw Palmetto Natural Area, both literally across the street from West Creek Pineland. The Kristin Jacobs Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area is a five-minute drive to the north off U.S. 441. Still a bit farther out are the Broward County entrance for the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and the Daggerwing Nature Center off Glades Road west of 441 in Boca Raton. Also off Hillsboro west of U.S. 441 is the Doris Davis Foreman Nature Preserve.
Virtual Tour

Cover Photo: Though small, West Creek Pineland provides a haven for birds and other wildlife. Here, a green heron forages for a meal in the C5 Canal. Look for wading birds along the banks and in the shallows, song birds along the edges of the pinelands and hawks and osprey high in the canopy.
Getting There ...
NOTE: Google Maps does not show West Creek Pineland. It sits on the south side of West Hillsboro Boulevard just west of Lyons Road, splitting the north-south canal shown toward the right-hand side of the map. Visitors can park almost directly across Hillsboro in the lot for the Helene Klein Pinelands Preserve. To get there from the east, take Hillsboro Boulevard. Once across the Lyons Roat, the entrance to the Helene Klein parking lot is on the right; ignore a turning lane; instead turn at a sign for Cubesmart Self Storage. From the south, take Florida's Turnpike to the Sawgrass Expressway, exit at Lyons Road and head north to Lyons Road.

Photo Gallery for West Creek Pineland Natural Area

Click on the photograph to see an enlarged image. Click on the name to read more about the species.

Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.
Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.