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Copyright © Atala Chapter of NABA 2002
Where To See Butterflies
Atala HairstreakListed below are several parks and nature centers from Martin county south to Broward where butterflies can be found:

Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Hobe Sound, Florida
772/546-2771
Entrance fee $6 per car
The entrance to the park is off of U.S. Highway 1 seven miles north of Jupiter in Martin County. This 11,500 acre state park has diverse plant communities so you will see different butterflies especially along the roadside on the way to the concession area. Palamedes (the "swamp" butterfly), Carolina satyrs, little metalmark, hairstreaks, and skippers are seen throughout the year. The rare southern dusted skipper can be seen feeding on thistle in the spring (April).

Blowing Rocks Preserve
574 South Beach Road
Hobe Sound, Florida 33455
561/744-6668

From U.S. Highway 1 in Jupiter/Tequesta area take Beach Road CR 707 east and go 2 miles north on Jupiter Island. The 73-acre preserve is just north of Martin County line. The Nature Conservancy owns and manages it. Several species of blues and hairstreaks, sulphurs, Florida whites, great southern whites, mangrove buckeyes, common buckeyes, zebra longwings, Julia longwings, Gulf fritillaries, and mangrove skippers are commonly seen. A native plant butterfly garden attracts local species of butterflies.

Okeeheelee Park
Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, Florida 33413
561/966-6600

This is a county park in western Palm Beach County, just east of the turnpike on the north side of Forest Hill Boulevard. Go to the nature center and enjoy their nature trails. This location has had the greatest diversity of butterflies on past "Fourth of July Butterfly Counts" conducted by NABA members. There are planted areas around the nature center that boast a variety and abundance of butterflies.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
10216 Lee RoadBoynton Beach, Florida 33437
561/734-8303
Entrance fee $5.00 per car
Many species of butterflies can be seen walking the 0.8-mile Marsh Trail around a freshwater impoundment that supports an abundance of birds. There are other dike trails to explore also. Large numbers of queens and soldiers are seen all year. During the spring, zebra longwings, Julia longwings, buckeyes, pearl crescents, phaon crescents, white peacocks, sulfphurs and many others are plentiful.

Seacrest Scrub Natural Area
3400 South Seacrest Boulevard
Boynton Beach, Florida
This natural area is managed by Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management with assistance from the city of Boynton Beach. The plant community here predominantly scrub habitat. Cassius blues, zebra longwings, gulf fritillaries, and sulphurs are some of the butterflies that can be seen flying among the pine trees and saw palmettos.

Old Dixie Eco Walk at Seabourn Cove

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
1801 N. Ocean Boulevard
Boca Raton, Florida
(561)338-1473

Gumbo Limbo is an environmental center located on the beach in Boca Raton. Here you will find mangrove skippers and hairstreaks. There is wild lime for the giant swallowtail and passion-flower vines for the longwings. A boardwalk and tall tower that overlooks the lagoon and the tree canopy are well worth the visit.

South County Regional Park
Daggerwing Nature Center
11200 Park Access Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33498
(561) 488-9953
The nature center is located in western Boca Raton. Walk along the boardwalk under the strangler figs to see ruddy daggerwing butterflies fly in large numbers. There is also an observation tower. Numerous other butterflies can be seen around the nature center.

Mounts Botanical Gardens
531 North Military Trail
West Palm Beach, Florida 33415
(561) 233-1757
The Palm Beach County Extension Service of the University of Florida manages the 14-acre botanical garden with support from the Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden. Exit I-95 at Belvedere Road. Go west about 2 miles to Military Trail. Go south (left) and look for Mounts about mile on the right (west). A lush tropical landscape, herb garden, and a butterfly garden at the west end of the garden makes Mounts an irresistible spot for butterflies. The garden supports a large Atala Hairstreak population. Swallowtails, Monarchs, Queens, Soldiers, Cassius Blues and numerous skipper species are abundant.

Robert J. Huckshorn Arboretum
5353 Parkside Drive
Jupiter, FL 33458
The Arboretum host mostly native plantings and is home to a wide variety of birds and butterflies. Located on the Jupiter campus of FAU just across the street from the free Abacoa parking garage.

Fern Forest Nature Center
201 Lyons Road,
Coconut Creek, Florida 33063
(954) 970-0150
The nature center is in Pompano Beach. From the turnpike, go west 2.9 miles on Atlantic Boulevard to Lyons Road; take Lyons Road south and entrance is on your right. You can see ruddy daggerwings here also. The meadow, weedy area supports tropical checkered skippers, phaon crescents, and other butterflies.

Tree Tops Park
3900 S.W. 100th Avenue
Davie, Florida 33328
(954) 370-3750
Located in western Broward County near the Everglades, take the turnpike to Griffin Road. Go west on Griffin Road to SW 100 Avenue North (Golden Shoe Road). Follow signs to the "ridge" area. The area sports lots of malachites. They like the rotting fruit from a nearby citrus grove.

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