Riverbend Park is a 680-acre preserve in Jupiter that offers an ideal destination for hikers and others who want to experience South Florida nature and wildlife. With more than 15 miles of interconnected trails and roads, there is always a lot to do in Riverbend Park.
Riverbend’s hiking trails include signage and kiosks make it nearly impossible to get lost. It’s nature, tamed, making it accessible to city dwellers who’d otherwise never take a hike. There’s a lot to do in Riverbend Park, here are just a few of the things that you might enjoy.
Your hike starts at the entrance kiosk, which is topped with chickee thatch. It’s a theme you’ll see reflected throughout the park—lots of chickee thatch kiosks, plenty of signs, and big chickee huts. The Seminole theme pays homage to the historical and archeological significance of this site. This is sacred ground, with a Seminole encampment, and an open green field recalling the Battle of the Loxahatchee, January 24, 1838, when Federal troops attempted to remove the Seminole from this region to the west.
The entrance to the extensive trail system – 15 miles of interconnected roads and trails – starts with a boardwalk through a lush stand of cypresses and ferns near the Loxahatchee River. The Ocean-to-Lake segment of the Florida Trail defines the eastern edge of the trail system. It is a broad path, passing impoundments where ospreys and egrets perch in the trees.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Named “lowchow” (turtle) and “hatchee” (river) by the Seminole Indians, the beautiful Loxahatchee River is an 8.5-mile waterway located near the cities of Jupiter and Hobe Sound. It is a National Wild and Scenic River. Portions of the River are also designated as an aquatic preserve, Outstanding Florida Water and a state park.
Paddling on the Loxahatchee ranges from very easy to moderately strenuous, depending upon your skills and the weather. You may encounter trees crisscrossing the water, sometimes making you go over, under and around obstacles.
The Loxahatchee starts out narrow and twisty as it meanders its way toward the Atlantic. You’ll pass through an incredible cypress swamp, complete with thousands of species of plants and animals. You can rent kayaks and canoes at the Jupiter Outdoor Center.
Riverbend Park is 2 miles west of the I-95 / Florida Turnpike interchange with Indiantown Road in Jupiter. Follow Indiantown Road west and turn left after you cross the Loxahatchee River. Access the Florida Trail through Riverbend Park via the Hunt Camp Trail and Pine Walk. Plan a paddling trip, too—the park has an outfitter on site.