Year-round access to the beautiful, South Florida outdoors is one of the greatest things about living in Palm Beach County. Here are a few natural parks that you and your family can enjoy and explore.
Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands overlooks 100 acres of constructed wetland from a 1 1/2-mile boardwalk trail. Shimmering water is everywhere since the area is filled with natural ponds, examples of hammock swamp and ages-old cypress swamp. This quick visit will bring you close to egret and bunting during bird season, and a nature center will entertain and educate the entire family about the natural treasures to be found in the wetlands.
Delray Beach is a town of diverse attractions and things to do. A drive east, and you’re on a beautiful beach with sun and shimmering blue water. A drive west, and you’ll soon find yourself at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, a small preserve that’s a significant natural showcase. The wetlands are 50 acres of undeveloped land intended to filter treated wastewater and feed it into the Everglades. The designated walk is easy at under a mile, and it has many great birdwatching opportunities, informational signs and viewing benches.
Jupiter Ridge Nature Center
Just a few miles south of the historic Jupiter Lighthouse is Jupiter Ridge Natural Area, easily accessible from U.S. Highway 1. This hilly, 274-acre natural area contains scrubby flatwood, depression marsh and mangrove swamp ecosystems. The pristine, unspoiled area also boasts gently rolling hills, which are fairly rare in the naturally flat landscapes of South Florida. Three short trails are available, with an observation platform to view the tidal swamp channels of Old Lake Worth Creek.
Juno Dunes Natural Area
With parking just off U.S. Highway 1, a walk along Juno Dunes could not be easier to enjoy. The 576-acre area is nestled between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. The area contains a diverse ecosystem of scrub forest positioned alongside ocean dunes, offering a wide selection of local plants and wildflowers. There are two hikes to choose from, each about a mile in length.