Enjoy the Outdoors at Wellington Environmental Preserve
I’ve lived in Florida for 22 years. Most of those years were spent in south Palm Beach County, mostly around Delray Beach. About a year ago I moved to Greenacres, which is right next to Wellington. Suddenly finding myself in northern Palm Beach County had me feeling like I had just moved down to Florida. I really wasn’t that familiar with the north county area but have been discovering a lot of neat places over the course of the past year.
I really enjoy spending time outdoors whenever I get a chance. I work 9-5 Monday through Friday as a SEO Copywriter and Social Media Marketer sitting in a windowless office in a corporate environment. A bit boring if you don’t mind me saying. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a couple of my friends posting to Facebook that they were doing some of their bike and run training out at the Wellington Environmental Preserve. What, huh!?! Never heard of it.
Apparently the preserve opened in 2010 and is only 14 miles from my boyfriend’s house in Loxahatchee. I couldn’t talk him into going with me, so for the past two weekends, I went out there by myself to get in a much needed run. The environmental preserve has 3.5 miles of gravel equestrian trails and 4 miles of paved walking trails
Hike, Bike, Walk or Run in Wellington
The preserve is a great place to walk, bike or run with 3.5 miles of gravel equestrian trails, 4 miles of paved nature trails, 2 sections of boardwalk and a 6 story observation tower. The preserve is open 7 days per week from 8 AM to dusk. There are two parking lots available, with public restrooms located at each parking area. The 3.5 mile un-paved equestrian trail runs the perimeter of the preserve, besides horseback riding, the trail is host to trail runners and mountain bikers. I want to bring my single speed cyclocross bike out there sometime and ride the un-paved trails. The interior has paved walking trails including 2 sections of boardwalk going across the wetlands.
I walked the entire paved trail loop, from parking lot 1, over the boardwalks, past the observation tower, back towards parking lot 1, then headed off to the right to include the section of trail to parking lot 2 before heading back to the first parking lot. That will give you 4 miles of paved trail to walk or run on but you don’t have to walk the entire loop. My last visit was on Sunday, February 10th. I ran the equestrian loop then switched over to the paved loop for a total of 7 miles and walked the last half mile back to parking lot 1 to cool down.
Running with Deer at Wellington Environmental Preserve
Towards the end of the equestrian trail a large deer popped out the woods and ran across the trail right in front of me. She ran a few yards up the trail, then saw I wasn’t very fast and did a U-turn onto the paved trails before heading towards the dense brush near the waters edge. I saw a couple of photographers while I was out there and told anyone I passed on the trail there was a deer further up the trail. I am trying to talk my boyfriend into coming back to the preserve with me sometime. He’s not into working out at all, so we’ll be going with his binoculars to check out the wildlife. I want to go back with my digital camera and walk the trails and climb the observation tower. Hard to enjoy the wildlife when you are running or biking!
I doubt my boyfriend will climb the observation tower, he doesn’t like heights. But I climbed it the first time I went to the preserve. It’s well worth the effort as you get a terrific 360 panoramic view of the entire preserve area.
How to Get There
The preserve opened on Friday, November 12th, 2010. The 365 acre preserve is part of the Everglades Restoration effort and acts as a way to clean our drinking water.
- Wellington Environmental Preserve
- 3491 Flying Cow Ranch Road
- Wellington, FL 33414
Off of Southern Blvd – head towards Lion Country Safari. Left turn just a bit before you get to Seminole Pratt Whitney Road. Here’s a few photos from website:http://www.wellingtonfl.gov/community/event-photos/category/51-wellington-environmental-preserve.html. From my boyfriends house in Loxahatchee I travel down Seminole Pratt Whitney until it dead ends at Southern Blvd., then hang a left onto Southern to Flying Cow Ranch Road.