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Paddle Trail Temporarily Closed

The paddling trail (accessed at the C-18 Canal across from Karen T. Marcus Sandhill Crane Access Park) will be closed due to the presence of nesting endangered Everglades snail kites. The trail will likely re-open in approximately 2 months…check back for updates.
To learn more about the Everglade Snail Kite, visit  https://myfwc.com/media/1659/kitesbrochure.pdf

   

All visitors to the natural areas must follow Center for Disease Control Guidelines and the County’s Emergency Order 2020-005.

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH BOTH AT THE LINKS PROVIDED BELOW AND

 Wear face coverings, recreate in groups less than 10, maintain social distance of at least 6 feet apart while on the trails, and avoid touching common surfaces such as handrails, benches, etc. to be safe while visiting.

 

 Loxahatchee Slough

North and south of PGA Boulevard, approximately 2.2 miles west of Florida's Turnpike, Palm Beach Gardens

Picture of open water wetland and slash pine forest at Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area

ADA Accessible Paved Nature Trails Natural Surface Hiking Trails Information Signs Parking lot Wildlife Viewing

Palm Beach County's Largest and Most Biologically Diverse Natural Area

Open Sunrise to Sunset, 365 Days a Year 

At a Glance     

Headwaters of the Loxahatchee Wild and Scenic River

Nine native Florida ecosystems are preserved at this 12,841-acre site:  mesic flatwoods, wet flatwoods, mesic hammock, hydric hammock, wet prairie, depression marsh, slough marsh, strand swamp, and dome swamp.  During the summer and fall this site gets very wet for hiking so bring your mud boots or stay on the multiuse trails to stay high and dry along the perimeter of the site. 

Features

  • Prime habitat for the snail kite and migrating swallow-tailed kite.
  • Fishing pier, boat/kayak/canoe launch, observation tower, restrooms,
    and parking at Sandhill Crane Access Park
  • Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail (sandy) 4.5 miles
  • Equestrian trails in north section with sandy surface that loop
  • Part of the Jeaga Wildways 
    2 improved mulituse trails traverse the site
    Bluegill Trail and Pantano Trail

Before You Go 

The natural area is accessible from:

 Links 

Photos 

Trail Rules

A blanket permit has been issued for equestrians and cyclists to utilize this site according to the following rules:

1. Equestrian and bicycle use of this natural area is authorized by a general permit and designation of specific bicycle access routes. All users must comply with these rules, the provisions of Chapter 11, Article XI of the Palm Beach County Code, and the rules posted on the natural area's signs and informational kiosks.

2. Equestrians and cyclists must stay on the designated multiuse trails. Lands adjacent to the trails are environmentally sensitive and can easily be damaged.

3. Do not tie or hitch horses or bicycles to trees or shrubs. If you wish to hike on the natural area, use horse hitches and bike racks at trailheads.

4. Do not allow horses to graze on or otherwise damage vegetation.

5. Ride at your own risk. Riding helmets are recommended. Helmets are mandatory for riders under the age of 16. See Florida Statutes, Section 773.06 (for equestrians) and Section 316.2065 (for cyclists).

6. Horses and bicycles must be under control at all times. No galloping, running, racing, or trick riding.

 7. Cyclists must yield right of way to equestrians:
• Announce yourself as soon as you are within hearing distance.
• Ask the equestrian rider how to proceed without startling the horse.
• Keep talking- your voice will distinguish you from a predator.

8. Equestrians must walk their horses when approaching or passing others. If riding abreast, one rider must yield to the approaching or passing rider.

9. Horses known to kick must wear red ribbons in their tails.

10. Riders must carry proof of a negative Coggins test and present it upon request.