Besides the beautiful weather, sunshine and incredible beaches, Palm Beach County is host to many miles of trails to explore in various parks and natural areas. If you like to hike, bike or horseback, here are some places you will want to explore:
RIVERBEND PARK: Surround yourself with the beauty of Old Florida. Take a step back in time and enjoy walking, Biking, riding or canoeing through beautiful and historic Riverbend Park. From the Ancient Indian middens, through Seminole War Battles, to present day restoration, see Florida as the first settlers did. Nearly 10 miles of hiking/biking trails, 7 miles of equestrian trails and 5 miles of canoeing/kayaking trails allow for hours of enjoyment. Stroll along the Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River, visit the Cracker Farmstead, and picnic in the shade under a Seminole chickee.
Open seven days a week (including holidays); sunrise – sunset.
Equestrian parking available, port-o-let restrooms available, bike and kayak/canoe rental(closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays), freshwater fishing, and picnic pavilions (with grills) available for first come, first serve.
9060 Indianatown Road, Jupiter, Fl 33478 (561) 966-6617
Lake Region and Western Palm Beach
DUPUIS MANAGEMENT AREA: On certain hunting days the DuPuis property is closed to general use, which means all uses except hunting. Such uses include the auto tour, camping, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, and fishing. However, the Visitors’ Center is open for scheduled lectures and visiting hours even when the property is closed for general use.
The DuPuis Management Area is a 21,875 acre multi-use natural area located in northwestern Palm Beach and southwestern Martin Counties. The property is interspersed with numerous ponds, wet prairies, cypress domes, pine flatwoods, and remnant Everglades marsh. The area provides miles of hiking and horseback trails, an equestrian center, graded vehicle roads, backpack and group campsites, and seasonal hunting. Recreational.
DuPuis is far from urban areas, and its dark night sky lends itself to excellent star gazing. At this site you can explore the visitors’ center with interpretive displays, walk the nature trail and butterfly garden; fish from the partially covered pier; take a 15-mile, self-guided auto tour; picnic or enjoy primitive group and family camping.
There are 22 miles of hiking trails, including a segment of the Ocean to Lake Trail (part of the Florida National Scenic Trail), and an equestrian campground with 40 miles of horseback riding trails.
Special Saturday events or water resource programs are offered. Learn about these by calling (561) 924-5310.
Prior to District acquisition in 1986, the property was a ranch for Dutch white-belted cattle, sheep and goats. By 2001, more than 6,500 acres of wetlands on DuPuis were restored through a three-step program. Land managers plugged old drainage ditches, repaired a levee at the southern boundary to restore former Everglades marsh and reconnected a portion of the flow from the adjacent J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area. Archeological sites of early American Indians date to 500 B.C. Much later, the Seminole Indians used the DuPuis region as a refuge during the Seminole Indian War of 1835, but living on the land proved difficult. Hundreds of starving Indians were captured and sent to Oklahoma. The area became known as “The Hungryland.”
There are no dogs allowed. There are forty miles of trials and horse trailer parking is available.
For all other info: http://www.sfwmd.gov
23500 SW Kanner Highway, Canal Point, FL 33438 (561) 924-5310
or SFWMD HQ at (561) 686-8800, ext. 6635
J.W. CORBETT WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA
Wedged between Florida’s expanding Gold Coast to the east and south and orange groves and agricultural fields to the west is 60,348-acre Corbett Wildlife Management Area. For at least 2000 years before Europeans arrived, Indians inhabited this land, burying their dead in mounds, accumulating the remains of their meals in middens, and traveling by canoe, sometimes on man-made causeways. In the 1800s the Seminoles sought refuge from the U.S. Army in Hungryland Slough. Today you can hunt deer, feral hog, turkey, and snipe in designated hunting areas and explore pine flatwoods, cypress swamps, and a hardwood hammock on Hungryland Boardwalk and Trail. Nearby is Everglades Youth Conservation Camp, offering summer camps for kids and year-round programs for families and educators. Observe sandhill cranes, rare roseate spoonbills, wood storks and other wading birds and camp along semi-circular ponds and fish for bluegill, bass, and catfish.
LOCATION: Entrance Kiosks with area maps and brochures are located at the south entrance off Seminole Pratt Whitney Road and at the north entrance off State Road 710. A hiking trailhead, interpretive trail and boardwalk and picnic shelters are located at the Hungryland Recreation site near the Everglades Youth Conservation Camp. Some campsites on Corbett have fire rings.
The area is open to public access year round except from August 14 until 8 a.m. on August 26. Hiking on the Florida Trail and use of the Hungryland Boardwalk is allowed year-round.
JOHN C. and MARIANA JONES/HUNGRYLAND WILDLIFE & ENVIRONMENTAL AREA
The 16,645-acre Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area was acquired by the state in the mid to late 1990s. The area includes some of the highest quality, relatively undisturbed pine flatwoods remaining in south Florida. Here you can camp, hike, or bike along the Old Jupiter-Indiantown Road, participate in hunts for deer, hog, and small game, and fish for largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and warmouth. In the summer and fall the rare orange and yellow Catesby lily blooms in the moist flatwoods and prairies.
The area is open to public access year round. Pesons shall enter and exit the area at a designated entrance.
LOCATION: Hungryland is located along the southern boundary of Martin County and the northern boundary of Palm Beach County, west of the Jupiter Farms. From I-95 take the Jupiter (SR 706) exit and go west 6 1/2 miles to the intersection of SR 706 (Indiantown Road) and Pratt-Whitney Road. The Main Gate is located off Pratt-Whitney Road, 1 1/2 miles north of SR 706.
For more info: http://myfwc.custhelp.com/app/answers/list
LAKE OKEECHOBEE SCENIC TRAIL
The height above the surrounding area provides hikers, bikers, and wildlife watchers with scenic vistas of the lake. The trail is open year round and can be utilized for short day hikes or loop hikes. There are 14 camping areas available on or adjacent to the trail. Hunting is not permitted on any section of the trail. No fees or permits are required for trail use. Access can be gained from any recreation area located around the lake.
For More Info:
Contact the US Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Operations Office at (863) 983-8101, or write to:
US Army Corps of Engineers South Florida Operations Office
525 Ridgelawn Road Clewiston, FL 33440-53992
LOXAHATCHEE SLOUGH NATURAL AREA
At this time, public access is not allowed in the portion of the site located to the west of the main channel of the C-18 Canal and south of the west leg of the C-18 Canal due to environmental restoration activities.
The Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area is the largest and most biologically diverse natural area managed by Palm Beach County. It contains the historic headwaters of the Loxahatchee Wild and Scenic River and has nine native Florida ecosystems: mesic flatwoods, wet flatwoods, mesic hammock, hydric hammock, wet prairie, depression marsh, slough marsh, strand swamp, and dome swamp. Palm Beach County acquired 10,391 acres of the site in 1996 and 2,190 acres during the period 2000-2007. The County also leases 257 acres from the South Florida Water Management District and 3 acres from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for management purposes. Extensive restoration activities have been conducted on the site to restore areas impacted by overdrainage, agricultural uses, and invasion of nonnative plant species. This work included mechanical removal of invasive nonnative vegetation, filling of drainage ditches and shell mining pits, and replacement of culverts leading to the C-18 Canal. The natural area is part of theNortheast Everglades Natural Area. Palm Beach County manages the site with the assistance of the City of Palm Beach Gardens. The Florida Trail Association maintains the 4.5-mile segment of the Ocean to Lake Trail (hiking only) that passes through the natural area.
For more info: http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/erm/natural/natural-areas/loxahatchee-slough/
Royal Palm Beach
ROYAL PALM BEACH PINES NATURAL AREA
The natural area contains six native Florida ecosystems: mesic flatwoods, wet flatwoods, hydric hammock, wet prairie, depression marsh, and dome swamp. Palm Beach County purchased most of the site in 1992 and 1993, and leases part of a wetland from the Saratoga in the Pines Homeowners’ Association. The rest of the site was deeded to the County in 2003 as part of a mitigation settlement agreement. The County manages the natural area with the assistance of the Village of Royal Palm Beach and the Indian Trail Improvement District. The natural area is part of the Northeast Everglades Natural Area.
110 Nature’s Way, Royal Palm Beach, 33411 (not a mailing address), approximately 1.6 miles north of Okeechobee Road and 0.7 mile west of Royal Palm Beach Boulevard. From Royal Palm Beach Boulevard, take Crestwood Boulevard west and turn right onto Saratoga Boulevard; follow Saratoga Boulevard to Nature’s Way; turn left on Nature’s Way to reach the parking lot.
13500 40th Street North, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411 (not a mailing address). The entrance is located on the south side of 40th Street North, approximately 1.75 miles west of Royal Palm Beach Boulevard. A permit is required to use the equestrian entrances – one located at the north entrance and one located on the south side of the site at the intersection of North Road and F Road.
For more info: http://www.pbcgov.com/erm/natural/natural-areas/royal-palm-beach-pines/
West Palm Beach
PALM BEACH COUNTY JIM BRANDON EQUESTRIAN CENTER at OKEEHEELEE PARK
This 111-acre world class equestrian showplace has been built with the local horse enthusiast in mind. Equestrian groups are sure to enjoy this quality, competitive, and affordable venue.
Okeeheelee Park South
7500 Forest Hill Blvd.,
West Palm Beach, FL 33413
Fax: (561) 963-8092