Broward County High Point Trip Report

Date: January 23, 2000
Author: Fred Lobdell

There are four areas that exceed 25 feet elevation in Broward County. Three of these are in the county (?) park on Pine Island, and the fourth is on a street just south of Deerfield Beach and just east of I-95.

Pine Island is a park, apparently run by Broward County. On the east side of the park, where I entered, is a statue of a military officer on horseback. This is supposed to be Major William Lauderdale, who was sent to the area in 1838 to subdue the Se minoles. He built a fort on the New River and, in accord with military custom of the day, the military commander for the Florida territory named it for the commanding officer of the fort; hence, Fort Lauderdale.

On the pedestal for the statue are two plaques. The one facing east gives the story of Maj. Lauderdale, and the west-facing plaques gives a bit of information about Pine Island: "Pine Island . . . actually was an Everglade [sic] island before the area was drained . . . . Formed thousands of years ago by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, this two and a half mile long anchor-shaped island rises twenty-nine feet above sea level and is the highest natural point in Broward County."

To get there, take I-595 west from I-95 for 5 or 6 miles to Exit 5 which is Pine Island Road. Go south on Pine Island Rd. for 1.2 miles. Take the first right turn past the fourth traffic light; this should be Forest Ridge Blvd. Take it 0.2 miles to the top of the hill, where you will see before you the statue and plaque mentioned above. I parked on the grass here; if there's a more formal entrance and parking for the park, I don't know where it is. The ridge itself is apparently called Forest Ridge, and the whole raised area is Pine Island.

The first mile or more of the ridge is a grassy meadow with some tall pines and a few live oaks scattered about; it looks very park-like. The highest area that I could find was in the vicinity of three pines about a quarter mile from the entrance, but other areas were just about as high. This park is also used by the horsey set and dog-walkers, so you need to watch where you put your feet. I walked to the area that is still wooded and took a trail through part of it, then walked around the rest of it. If you had to bushwhack this area, it would be unpleasant because of the thicket of thorny underbrush.

The citizens of Broward County are to be commended for saving this unique area from development and preserving it for future generations.

The other area of 25-plus feet elevation is near the northern border of the county and just east of I-95. It was not especially easy to find due to lots of development, including many new roads, since the map was photorevised in 1983. In my opinion, given the nature of this area and the statement by the county authorities on the plaque, this area need not be visited in order to claim Broward County. It is given here for the sake of completeness.

Get off I-95 at Exit 36; by coincidence, this is NE 36th St. Go east to the first traffic light, then turn left (north) on N. 3rd Ave. Go about a mile to NE 48th St. and turn right (east). A couple of hundred feet up the road on the right is a former entrance, now closed off, to Breezy Hill RV and Mobile Home Park. You can pull in and park here.

The high area is on the south side of the street in a small brushy field. There are some concrete slabs here; perhaps this is where the houses shown on the topo formerly stood. Across the street, behind a low concrete wall around a large building, is a small area that is higher, but this is probably manmade.