Natural Areas

Apoxee Trail

Apoxee Wilderness Trail

Apoxee (pronounced “Ah-po-ee”) is the first in the City of West Palm Beach’s series of urban wilderness parks, set aside for preservation and public enjoyment. Apoxee, which means “beyond tomorrow” in the Miccosukee language, is especially unique and visionary due to plans to use its wetlands as a new water supply (maximum 10 million gallons per day) in order to achieve both urban and environmental water sustainability!

In the wet prairies and tropical hammocks of Apoxee Park, the first urban wilderness area in Palm Beach County, you’ll walk over and through the water supply of West Palm Beach.

A fascinating 4.7-mile day hike showcasing the sheet flow of water through habitats that thrive in humidity and dampness, the Apoxee Wilderness Trail features a mix of boardwalks, crushed limestone, and natural surfaces underfoot on a loop that includes a section of the Owahee Trail, a lengthy berm that runs through all of Grassy Waters Preserve.

Location:   The Apoxee Trail is located at 3125 North Jog Road in West Palm Beach, Florida.  West of the Florida Turnpike, on Okeechobee Boulevard west ½ mile to Jog Road, then north ½ mile on the west side of Jog Road.  For further information on the Apoxee Trail.

 

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Grassy Waters Preserve

Grassy Waters Preserve is a 23 square mile wetlands ecosystem that serves as the freshwater supply for the City of West Palm Beach and the towns of South Palm Beach and Palm Beach Island. Historically, Grassy Waters was both a key component of the Greater Everglades watershed and the headwaters of the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River.

Although human needs have led to severe alterations to the flow of water through South Florida, Grassy Waters Preserve remains a pristine remnant of the once great Everglades system. A mosaic of wetlands, tree islands, and forested hammocks, Grassy Waters Preserve is home to a variety of native wildlife. Commonly sighted species including the everglades snail kite, wood stork, white ibis, great blue heron, white tailed deer, otter, bobcat, and alligator.

Location:  The main entrance to Grassy Waters Preserve is located off Northlake Boulevard, about a ½ mile west of the Beeline Highway in West Palm Beach, Florida.  For further information on the Grassy Waters Preserve. 

 

Riverbend Park – Jupiter, Florida

Riverbend Park – Jupiter, Florida

Take a step back in time and enjoy walking, bicycling, riding, or canoeing through beautiful and historic Riverbend Park. From the ancient Indian middens, through the 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.

Location:  9060 Indiantown Road, Jupiter, Florida 33478, (located one mile west of I-95 and the Florida Turnpike exits).  (561) 966-6617.  For further information on this park

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Sweetbay Natural Area

The Sweetbay Natural Area contains six native Florida ecosystem: mesic flatwoods, hydric flatwoods, wet prairie, baygall, mesic hammock, and dome swamp. The natural area was once part of the greater Loxahatchee Slough, the historic headwaters of the Loxahatchee River. It is composed of two preserve areas that were set aside during the construction of the airport – a large tract to the west of the airport and a smaller tract to the east. There are no facilities on the eastern tract. The natural area is managed by Palm Beach County. It is part of the Northeast Everglades Natural Area.

Location:  12560 Aviation Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33412 (not a mailing address). The entrance to the natural area is on the west side of Aviation Boulevard, inside the North County General Aviation Airport. The entrance to the airport is located on the south side of the Bee Line Highway (SR 710) and it is approximately 2.7 miles northwest of PGA Boulevard.  For further information on this Natural Area.

J.W. CORBETT WILDLIFE MGT. AREA

J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area

The J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area is tucked between Florida’s expanding Gold Coast and Lake Okeechobee and consists of 60,348 acres of wildlife-rich habitats open to a wide range of recreation.  Pine flatwoods, cypress swamps and hardwood hammocks feature abundant wildlife and create a scenic backdrop for diverse recreational opportunities.

In the fall, hunting pressure on Corbett is intense. Hunters can camp at a number of sites and enjoy fishing in semi-circular, stocked manmade ponds. The Hungryland Boardwalk and Trail is located far from the hunting area and is open year-round. Hiking along the 1.2-mile trail is most pleasant in the fall, winter, and spring. In the spring and fall, oak hammocks and cypress swamps along the trail are alive with songs of migratory warblers. During fall and winter, you may see pairs of sandhill cranes that nest on the area. In the summer, the Everglades Youth Conservation Camp  offers a host of programs for youth and families. The cooler, drier months of the year are good for camping and observing wading bird.

Location:  The north entrance to the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area is approximately 1/4 mile north of (SR 706) and the Bee Line Highway (SR 710), on the west side of (SR 710) and North Grade Road.  For additional information on this Wildlife Management Area

 

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Hungryland Slough Natural Area

The Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area was acquired by the state in the mid to late 1990’s and this area contains 16,645 acres. 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.

“Every day, many of us go about our daily activities unaware of the treasures that exist in our own backyard. The Old Jupiter-Indiantown Road . . . still remains generally as it was in the early years of the settlement of south Florida.” – Old Jupiter-Indiantown Road Trail Feasibility Study, 1993

Location:  12385 Seminole Pratt Whitney Road, West Palm Beach 33412 (not a mailing address). The natural area is located on the south side of the Bee Line Highway (SR 710) northwest of PGA Boulevard between the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area and the North County General Aviation Airport. The parking lot for Hungryland Slough is located on Seminole Pratt Whitney Rd approximately 3 miles north of Northlake Blvd. Take Seminole Pratt Whitney Road just past the entrance to  J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area, turn right and the entrance to the site is 1/4 mile down on the north side of the road.  Addition Information About this Natural Area.

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Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area

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.

This natural area is part of the Northeast 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.

Location:  North and south of PGA Boulevard, approximately 2.2 miles west of Florida’s Turnpike, in Palm Beach Gardens. Most of the natural area is located north of PGA Boulevard, east and west of the main channel of the C-18 Canal. A smaller tract is located between PGA Boulevard and the Bee Line Highway and a third tract is located between the Bee Line Highway and Northlake Boulevard.  For Additional information on this Natural Area.

PINE GLADES NATURAL AREA

Pine Glades Natural Area

The Pine Glades Natural Area is located just south of the John C. and Mariana Jones Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area and is part of the watershed of the Loxahatchee River. It contains five native Florida ecosystems: mesic flatwoods, wet flatwoods, wet prairie, depression marsh, and dome swamp.

The lands that make up the site were acquired in a series of acquisitions during the period 1999-2010. State Florida Forever matching funds for three of the acquisitions were provided by the Florida Communities Trust. Extensive site restoration activities to remove invasive nonnative plant species, restore historic sheet flow of water across the site, and restore the pine flatwoods/wet prairie mosaic community in the agriculturally-altered northeastern portion of the site have been completed. The natural area is part of the Northeast Everglades Natural Area.

Location:  14122 West Indiantown Road, Jupiter, FL (not a mailing address). South side of Indiantown Road (SR 706), east and west of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road (SR 711). For further information on this Natural Area.

CYPRESS CREEK

Cypress Creek Natural Area

The Cypress Creek Natural Area contains seven native Florida ecosystems: mesic flatwoods, wet flatwoods, hydric hammock, wet prairie, depression marsh, dome swamp, and blackwater stream. Restoration activities include removing invasive nonnative vegetation, filling six miles of ditches to restore the hydroperiod, changing the elevations of shell mining pits to encourage revegetation by native wetland plants, and improving the Old Indiantown Road grade (now known as the Historic Jupiter-Indiantown Trail) for use as a multi-purpose trail.

This natural area is part of the Northeast Everglades Natural Area and serves as a buffer for the Loxahatchee Wild and Scenic River. Lands in the natural area were acquired by Palm Beach County from 1995 to 2010. State Florida Forever matching funds were provided for four of the acquisitions through the Florida Communities Trust. The natural area is managed by Palm Beach County.

Location: 10035 Indiantown Road, Jupiter, FL. (not a mailing address) The natural area spans north and south of Indiantown Road (SR 706) near Jupiter Farms Road, approximately one mile west of Florida’s Turnpike. The main portion of the site is located on the north side of Indiantown Road where parking is available. The smaller tract is located on the south side of Indiantown Road, east of Jupiter Farms Road.  For further information on this Natural Area