Thursday, September 13, 2007

Arch Creek Park- for a nice weekend stroll!~

One of my favorite parks in Dade County is a little and little known park in North Miami called Arch Creek Park. It's a wonderful place to go and take a weekend stroll and feel transported to the Miami of days gone by. Arch Creek has had many narrow misses with the encroachment of civilization over the years but thanks to the efforts of many community folk it has survived and flourished as a natural site and not just one more mass entertainment area like so many other parks in the County. Historically, it is far more important than the Tequesta Circle on the Miami River. Arch Creek, and the area surrounding it, was one of six Tequesta Indian occupation sites built along Dade County estuaries. The Tequestas established other campsites at the Oleta River, Surfside, Little River, the Miami River, and Snapper Creek. Arch Creek, however, was unique. It had a natural limestone bridge spanning 60 feet, from which the Indians could fish and which provided a raised, dry highway to the Everglades. Over the years, the Army Corps of Engineers wanted to blow up the bridge and Chrysler Motors wanted to pave over the entire park to build an auto dealership. Today, Arch Creek is an eight-acre site at the junction of N.E. 135th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, and offers many opportunities for botanical, historical and archaeological study. It has a museum/nature center modeled after an early Florida pioneer home, displaying Indian artifacts dug from the grounds, and live animals from the nearby hammock. Remains of the first settler's original coontie starch mill are still visible across the creek, and the Park exists as the only preserved archaeological site in the County. To me it's like a microcosm of what Florida looked like to the original settlers at the turn of the century. Treat yourself to a weekend visit, you'll be glad you did!