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 LoxahatcheeRiver.net

 

 
Official Guide to the Loxahatchee River and Jupiter Outdoors  

 Loxahatchee River .net -- Your Coastal Connection!

 
 

Off-Road Bike, Hike, & Ride...
Trails around the Loxahatchee River, Jupiter,
Riverbend Park and Jonathan Dickinson Park
 

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Get Outside & BLAZE some TRAILS!

FISH | KAYAK | CANOE | PADDLE BOARD | SURF | DIVE | SWIM | WAKE BOARD | TUBE | SNORKEL |
KITE SURF | WATER SKI | KNEE BOARD | WAKE SURF | BIKE | HIKE

Bikers on Kitching Creek Bridge
Bikers on the Kitching Creek Bridge 2010 © LoxRiver, inc.

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South Florida
has miles of multi-use trails for off-road enthusiasts.  You'll find everything from single-track, double-track, semi-paved, to primitive trails for riders of all levels!  There is a multi-agency effort underway in Palm Beach and Martin Counties to interconnect parks, greenway's, and natural areas to create an Ocean-to-Lake (OTL) trail.  This effort is being led by Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management (ERM); and is called the Northeast Everglades Natural Area (NENA).  This will vastly expand your trail riding options!
 

 
NENA includes: 
  • 14 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline 
  • Loxahatchee Wild & Scenic River 
  • Two State Parks 
  • National Wildlife Refuge 
  • Links to the 110-mile Lake Okeechobee
    Scenic Trail & Big Water Heritage Trail
     
  • 25 Natural Areas, Preserves & Parks 
  • Over 300 miles of hiking & horse trails 
  • Three Wildlife Management Areas 

NE Everglades Natural Area (NENA) Map

 
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 Places to Hike, Bike, Run or Ride

Riverbend Park - Known as the "hidden jewel" of Palm Beach County parks, Riverbend Park is an award winning park that offers outstanding hiking, biking, horseback riding and paddling opportunities. Located on Indiantown Road in Jupiter, just 1 mile west of the Florida turnpike.

Here you will find close to 15 miles of hard packed, crushed limestone trails.  All you need is a mountain bike, beach cruiser, or any "fat tire" bike to enjoy your day.  You can even rent bikes at the local Canoe Outfitter onsite at the park entrance.  Admission to the park is FREE!

Explore Riverbend Park in the early morning or late afternoon for the best chance to see the locals! These include white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, otters, gators, turtles, and a variety of birds. You will probably even see a few peacocks hanging around the main parking area. The historic Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park, which commemorates the Seminole Indians, and soldiers involved in the 1838 "Battle of the Loxahatchee" is located within this vast site. All trails are marked with signs and there are many informational kiosks located through out the park with information on local fauna, flora, and historical events.

Riverbend Park Map

 Riverbend Park boardwalk
 Boardwalk entrance at north parking area
 Loxahatchee River gator in Riverbend Park
 One of the resident "locals" at Riverbend Park

All Content & Photos © LoxahatcheeRiver.net


Bluegill Trail - The Bluegill Trail officially opened on March 19, 2011.  It is the first NENA trail that links several natural areas to Riverbend Park.  The trail head is located at the rear (south) entrance to Riverbend Park.  There is multi-use bridge that has been installed over the C-18 canal for hikers, bikers, and equestrians.  The first section of the trail is 5.3 miles long and runs from Riverbend Park in Jupiter, to Sandhill Crane Access Park in Palm Beach Gardens (PGA Blvd).

Bluegill Trail Map (pdf)

Bluegill Trail access (from Riverbend Park) - You can hike, bike, or ride your horse over the bridge.  Once you cross over the bridge, turn right and see the information kiosk for an overview of the trail.  The path is hard-packed crushed limestone, just like the trails you ride in Riverbend Park.  The Bluegill trail runs south, along the C-18 canal.  The hard-packed trail is for bikers and bikers.  There is also a flat grassy trail that runs along the canal bank for Equestrian use.

There are several kiosks, an overlook, dock, and a chickee hut along the way.  The chickee hut includes a water hand-pump and hitching posts for your horse.  This is non-potable water for your horse (not for humans).

Once you reach Sandhill Crane Access Park, there is a lookout tower to climb for scenic views; restrooms, water fountains, and more.


Italian Farms Trail / Masten Dam - The Italian Farms trail and the Ocean-to-Lake trail are both accessible from Riverbend Park.  Park your vehicle in the main parking lot of Riverbend Park and head over to the boardwalk entrance (located behind the Canoe Outfitter trailer).  From the main trail, head East towards the Ocean-to-Lake trail. You will see the "critter crossing"; which is really a trail that runs underneath the Indiantown Road bridge.  There, you will find a kiosk with maps and information for accessing these trails.

Once you cross under Indiantown Road on the Ocean-to-Lake trail, you actually leave Riverbend Park and enter a southern boundary of Jonathan Dickinson State Park. If you head left (west) once you pass under the bridge; you can access trails on either side of the Loxahatchee River. The first trail head you come to has a wood ladder crossing over a fence. Here, you can cross over and follow the Ocean-to-Lake hiking trail.  There are new "shared use" trail signs on the Italian Farms trail with directional markers. Follow this "lollipop shaped" loop trail that leads to the Masten Dam and Turnpike.  Distances are indicated for various trails.

If you follow the Italian Farms trail to the north, you should pay attention to the blue blaze painted on trees along the trail.  You can generally see the next blaze marker from your current position.

This is a fairly short trail, but is an excellent hike or ride. This trail provides access to the Masten Dam, which is a very picturesque spot on the Loxahatchee River. Bring your camera, as there is usually water flowing over the wood dam, a dock, a canoe/kayak portage, and plenty of shade from the canopy of century old cypress trees and various sub-tropical vegetation. You will know you reached the trail leading to the Masten Dam when you see the primitive rest room. At the rest room, turn left (west) and you will end up at the Masten Dam. During the rainy season, there may be a couple of shallow water crossings. Also, be sure to bring insect repellent -- just in case! This is a favorite "hangout" and destination for many kayakers that frequent the river on weekends -- and is one of our personal favorites!

Italian Farms Trail (pdf)

Italian Farms Trail Access Ladder
Wood ladder for trail access
 Italian Farms Trail Sign
 Sign at entrance to Italian Farms
 Masten Dam waterfall on the Loxahatchee River
 Masten Dam - a very scenic spot!





Jonathan Dickinson State ParkJonathan Dickinson State Park offers many activities, and opportunities for outdoor adventure!  Hike, bike, horseback, canoe, kayak, river tours, nature center, camping, bird watching, and more. For off-road cyclists, there are miles of easy, paved trails; intermediate double-track trails through the woods; and advanced single-track sandy trails through coastal dunes and scrub pines.

The advanced mountain bike trails are known as the Camp Murphy trails.  There are more than 8 miles of single-track trails at various elevations.  These trails have several man-made features that have been designed (and maintained) by www.ClubScrub.org.  This is one of the best biking workouts in the area, and you'll have a blast while your getting in shape! A practice area is located adjacent to the trail head / parking lot. Here, you can test your skills bike riding over obstacles that are similar to what you may encounter on the trails. You can request maps for all bike trails at the ranger station, when you enter the park. There is a small entrance fee.

Camp Murphy Bike Trails (pdf)

Eaglesview Multi-use Trails (pdf)

Note: Many of the off-road bike trails in Jonathan Dickinson State Park consist of "sugar sand" trails. Some areas contain loose sand, and others are more hard-packed due to the terrain (pine needles, grass, etc). The trail dynamics really change during the two seasons we have in Florida: the "dry season" and the "wet season". The sandy trails are best after a good rain storm (several rainy days are even better)! The rain actually packs down the sugar sand, which makes it a great ride.

The Camp Murphy Bike Trails are best to ride with a MTB (mountain-style bike) with front and/or rear suspension. Bikes on these trails should have fat knobby tires. Be sure to obey the trail rules and wear a helmet! Club Scrub has really enhanced these trails and they are very fast and flowy! Most other trails get wet/muddy after it rains, but not here! Enjoy the ride...

Camp Murphy Bike Trail - Jonathan Dickinson State Park - Hobe Sound, FL
Typical single-track trail -JD Park
 Camp Murphy Off Road Bike Trails at Jonathan Dickinson State Park
 Sign at Camp Murphy trailhead
 Gag Water - Elevated Bike Trail Feature - Half Pipe Trail
 Gag Water - elevated trail feature



Cypress Creek Natural Area - Cypress Creek Natural Area spans two Florida counties (Palm Beach and Martin County). Both Palm Beach County sections are now open, as they have been restoring the land, and constructing boardwalks and trails. The Martin County section is open "dawn to dusk" as well, with easy access off Gulfstream Citrus Road for bikers, hikers, and equestrians. You can explore all trails in the Martin County section, with little restrictions. The Palm Beach County (southern half) has more restrictions. You may hike anywhere, but bikes and equestrians are limited to the designated trails. See posted signs, and the parking area kiosk located at the trail head. The Historic Jupiter-Indiantown Trailhead is on your left as you turn onto this road and enter the parking area. The entrance to Gulfstream Citrus Road is located across the street from the McDonald's restaurant in Jupiter Farms (Indiantown Road).

The preserve offers everything from primitive trails, single-track, double-track (sandy & overgrown) trails to a hard packed 2.2 mile trail at the entrance. There are "off shoot" trails to the North and South, along the "historic" Jupiter-Indiantown trail that you can explore.

 

Shared-Use Trails for hiking, biking, and horseback Riding

 

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Shared-Use Trails for hiking, biking, and horseback Riding


Jesup Trail - The Jesup Trail is accessable from the Cypress Creek trail head on Gulfstream Citrus Road (located on Indiantown Road, across the street from the Jupiter Farms McDonald's restaurant). If you travel North along Gulfstream Citrus road (the Jessup Trail), you can access other sections of the Cypress Creek preserve via gates and fence openings along the way. Some are located approximately 1.5 - 2 miles north of Indiantown Road on Gulfstream Citrus Road. If you ride all the way to the north end of Gulfstream Citrus Road, you will see a yellow gate. There is a "ride through" opening at the yellow gate. This will take you into the old citrus grove area. If you follow the dirt/grass access road to the right (east); it will lead you through the turnpike tunnel, and eventually to the Hobe Grove canal. If you head West from the yellow gate, you'll end up in an abandoned citrus grove. Oranges and grapefruits available for picking! You can actually ride East or West and complete a large loop trail around the old grove.

Jesup Multi-Use Trail
The 6 mile Jesup Trail (Jupiter, FL to Jonathan Dickinson State Park)

If you decide to pass through the turnpike tunnel, you can follow the trail markings that lead to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. You must cross the "recently improved" Hobe Grove Canal for access to the state park. Plans are in place to install an "iron ranger" to collect park entrance fees from anyone who does not hold a Florida State Parks annual pass. The Jesup Trail is 6 miles long, and is combination of soft sand, dirt, and hard-packed grassy trails. The trail is part of NENA, which is the Northeast Everglades Natural Area. It is a multi-use trail.


Shared use bike - hike - horseback riding area - ride with caution.
Stop and communicate with approaching horseback riders
when you meet up on a shared-use trail. They will let you
know whether it's OK to ride by or wait. This also helps to
calm the horse, as you talk to the rider. The horse will see
that you are a human on a bike, and will not be startled.




The Historic Jupiter-Indiantown Trail - Check out NENA’s new Historic Jupiter-Indiantown Trail. The two-mile section of the Historic Jupiter-Indiantown Trail through Palm Beach County’s Cypress Creek Natural Area is a multiuse trail open to travel by foot, bicycle, and horseback. The trailhead is co-located in the new parking lot for the Cypress Creek Natural Area on the north side of Indiantown Road at the intersection of Indiantown and Gulfstream Citrus Roads. A portion of NENA’s (unimproved) Jesup Trail, which extends north along Gulfstream Citrus Road into Martin County, is also open for hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.

There are many new features to enjoy on the multiuse trails and in the natural area. However, please be aware that multiuse is restricted to the Historic Jupiter Indiantown and Jesup Trails and users must comply with the Temporary General Permit for Equestrian Use and Bicycle Access. There is no fee for the permit, and it is not necessary to carry a copy of the permit when using the trail. However, users need to follow the multiuse trail rules listed in the permit.

Visiter information stations are located along the trail. Please read the information on these kiosks to learn more about the natural area, the shared trail, and the public-use facilities.


Hungryland WMA - The Hungryland wildlife management area lies just West of Cypress Creek. It is a vast area that encompasses over 16,000 acres of land. We have included a link to the FWC website with additional information, along with a proposed trail map below. Note that these existing trails may not be marked, or mowed. During the rainy season, some of these trails may hold standing water. You may hike, bike, run, ride, fish & explore this area from sunrise to sunset. No permits are required at this time. Note: small game hunting is allowed during certain times of the year. The Hungryland area includes a variety of wildlife, beautiful lakes, and mostly undisturbed pine flatwoods and native vegitation.

John C. and Mariana Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA):
http://www.myfwc.com/viewing/recreation/wmas/lead/jones-hungryland/

 Hungryland WEA Trail Map

 Hungryland WEA Location Map

One of the most enjoyable rides is to begin at the Cypress Creek trail head located across from the Jupiter Farm's McDonalds (see above) and head West along the marked trail approximately 2.2 miles to the end (see kiosk). At this point, you have two options to reach the entrance to the Hungryland WMA: you may continue your ride West along the Old Indiantown "paved road" Road (straight ahead). But for an "off road" experience, you can take the canal bank, which is located across the street, on your right. The canal is next to the entrance to Ranch Colony. You may hike, bike, run or ride along the canal bank to the North; it will eventually turn West and leads to the same Hungryland WMA gate entrance as the paved road (see map on kiosk).

You will notice a dirt road with a yellow gate. You may open the gate and enter Hungryland. You may even drive into Hungryland with your vehicle. 
When you head into Hungryland, you will eventually see a large banyan tree on your right, along with the "Porch" structure, and the old dairy barn foundation and cattle loading ramps. If you continue on your Western route from the entrance, you can continue for several miles on the old "historic" Jupiter-Indiantown grade. If you turn right when you see the "Porch" and banyan tree, there are several old trails to explore in the North section, including the old "stumper's grade" trail. Click and explore the map below:

New! Hungryland-Culpepper "Proposed" Trail Map (Jupiter-Indiantown Historic Trail region)

 


The Limestone Creek Natural Area is a 52 acre natural area comprised of four native Florida ecosystems: mesic flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, hydric hammock, and mangrove swamp. You can hike, bike, run, and paddle through this unique natural area, located along the South Fork of the Loxahatchee River. A kayak launch is available at the Central Blvd parking area.

New! Limestone Creek Trail Guide (pdf)

Location: 6570 Church Street, Jupiter, FL 33458. The site is bordered on several sides by the Town of Jupiter. The C-18 Canal runs east to west through the natural area and there is parking available both north and south of the Canal. The main paved parking lot to the north is off Church Street and there are two additional lots to the south: a paved parking lot off Island Way and an unpaved lot off Central Boulevard. Restoration projects have been completed on both the north and south banks, including the creation of several oxbows and planting of native vegetation. The park is open daily sunrise to sunset.

South Fork of the Loxahatchee River - Hike - Bike - Run - Paddle:
Limestone Creek Natural Area on the Loxahatchee River - Hike - Bike - Run - Paddle
(Click image for larger trail map)


Other "Off-Road" Bike Trails

Halpatiokee Regional Park, Stuart, FL - This wonderful park & natural area is located along the south fork of the St. Lucie River in Martin County. Halpatiokee is located on the west side of the river, and the Atlantic Ridge Natural Area is located on the east side of the river. Halpatiokee offers several miles of single track bike trails with trail markers. The trails offer a variety of terrain, such as roots, mounds, switch-backs, and more.

There are picnic pavilions, restrooms, and even a hose to rinse off your bike after the ride. This park is located just 15-20 minutes north of the Indiantown Road exit in Jupiter. Just head north on I-95 (two exits) to the Stuart, Kanner Highway exit. Exit east, and take the first right turn onto Lost River Road. Follow the road to the end and you will see the park entrance. Follow the park road straight back (keep right) and you will see the trail head just beyond the picnic pavilions. Visit this web page for maps and more information on biking, hiking, and kayaking at Halpatiokee Regional Park.

Halpatiokee Bike Trails (jpg)

Halpatiokee Bike Trails map

Martin County Parks and Recreation - Halpatiokee Regional Park Facilities



Fort Pierce Bike Trail, Fort Pierce, FL - This 4.5 mile bike trail is basically an "out of bounds" trail ride that has been preserved and maintained by the Airborne Mountain Bike Club. Access to this bike trail is officially permitted for "Airborne MTB Club members only", as they have an agreement with the land owners, and agencies responsible for maintenance and upkeep of this location. You can read about the trail here. The trail is a great ride with several elevation changes. The trail is located in an area with many tropical hardwoods, native plants and palms. It is like a riding in a "jungle canopy"! The trails are predominately single-track trails, with a few open areas, creeks, switch-backs, and several man-made features. It is located along 10 Mile Creek. Since this area is along the creek, it is less sandy and more prone to flooding during the rainy season. Better to ride here in dry weather, as the trails can get muddy, sloggy, and hold water during the wet season. This is an outstanding ride, and well worth the effort. Contact Airborne, and fill out the paperwork to gain access today! They are working with the county, and hope the land will be acquired one day as a future county park.

Fort Pierce Bike Trail Parking Area Fort Pierce Bike Trail - Entrance at Trail Head Fort Pierce Bike Trail

Fort Pierce Bike Trail (jpg)

Fort Pierce Bike Trails map - Airborne MTB Club


Whether you're new to the sport of mountain biking (off-road cycling, MTB), or a pro-rider, you'll be impressed with our existing and planned trail systems. Use our sites resources to find your favorite trails. Get outside and ride, see nature, and get away from it all! We're adding new trails all the time -- be sure to check back often. 

 Mountain Bike Information


Be safe out there, and enjoy the ride!
 

 


 

 


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