Oleta River State Park is a state park located on the north side of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The park consists of 1,400 acres (5km2) of land and 2,000 acres (8km2) of water along the Oleta River. It is one of two state parks in Broward County which are part of the Intracoastal Waterway District.
Amenities include picnic areas with pavilions, boat ramps, boardwalks, scenic vistas, interpretive displays, an observation tower, and nature trails. Visitors can also enjoy visiting the historic Seaboard Air Line Railroad depot, now home to the Oleta River History Museum. This museum features exhibits about the history of the railroad, from its beginnings as the Key West Extension of the Seaboard Air Line Railway through its operation by the Florida East Coast Railroad, and into the present day. Exhibits at the Oleta River History Museum include historical photos, artifacts and railway equipment.
Oleta River State Park has four miles (6km) of bike trails, including a nine-mile (14km) stretch of the “Citrus Trail” that runs along the riverfront. Bikes are also allowed on some portions of the park’s eight miles (13km) of hiking trails. Fishing for bream, flounder, grouper, kingfish, snapper, Spanish mackerel, sheepshead, tarpon, trout and white perch is permitted in the park. A concessionaire rents pedal boats and kayaks for use on the river. Boats are available to take out onto the bay or into the intracoastal waterway. There is space for campers to set up tents in three designated sites. Other facilities include cabins, bathhouses, playgrounds, picnic shelters and dump stations. Nature programs and hikes occur periodically throughout the year.
Oleta River State Park is open seven days a week from 8:00 am until sunset. Admission is $4.00 per person, children under 13 years old are admitted at no cost. Passes good for 3 days or a week are also available; annual passes good at all five district parks charging admission are offered at a cost of $12.00 for adults, $8.00 for youth between the ages of 7 -13, kids 6 and under are not charged admission.
On Sunday, February 11, 2012, severe thunderstorms with straight-line winds came through the area, causing damage to the park. According to early reports, 100 trees were downed across the park, and there was significant damage to the campground, picnic areas and visitor amenities. By afternoon, it had been confirmed that 17 people died in the storms, with more than 50 others injured. In July 2017, the city of Fort Lauderdale announced they would be working with the state to restore services to the park, which remains closed. Restoration efforts began in 2018, with officials hoping to have the park reopened by late summer.
- wildlife viewing