Palm Beach County nature parks are plentiful. There are state, city, and beach parks. The county itself maintains 83 parks. Below we present five of our favorites.
If you’re a lover of horses, make your way to this park. It boasts over 100 acres set aside for horses at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center with its covered arena and training rings.
If you prefer bikes to horses, the park includes a BMX track for racing, four miles of mountain biking as well as eight miles of bike paths for exploring.
Hiking trails await those who like to take things at a more leisurely pace.
You can also tee-off at the 27-hole golf course. But there’s also 18 holes of disc golf.
The park has five baseball fields and four softball fields.
After your picnic, burn a few calories on the volleyball court or one of the eight tennis courts.
Head to the water for a little kayaking, boating, water skiing or fishing.
The entire family will enjoy getting close to animals at the nature center.
There’s a park playground set aside for the youngest in your family.
Some of the Palm Beach County nature parks like Okeeheelee are large and include something for everyone in your household including your dog. Don’t leave him home. Take your favorite canine to the dog park, Pooch Pines, located within Okeeheelee.
John Prince Park
Over half of the park’s 726 acres is lake area so take advantage of it with a little kayaking and canoeing. You can even try your hand at fishing.
All that physical activity can work up quite an appetite. That explains why the park has plenty of picnic areas including shelters.
And at the end of the day, if you’re too tired to pack up and go home, simply stay the night in the campground. It accommodates both tents and RVs.
Not every park can brag about having a world-class golf practice facility like the John Prince Golf Learning Center. It has a driving range of over 50 hitting stations.
It also has three regulation practice holes.
Need to hone your chipping and putting techniques? The center has over 16,000 square feet set aside just for that.
Here is a great place to learn improve your golf.
In fact, it’s a terrific location to play a variety of sports from American softball (three fields) to British cricket to French petanque.
The park has playground structures for the kids and outdoor exercise equipment in a fitness area for adults.
Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands
When you mention to residents Palm Beach County nature parks, the Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands are bound to come up in conversation.
Get closer to the ecosystem with a day spent exploring this 100-acre wetland habitat.
However, you don’t have to be an outdoor adventurer to enjoy the wetlands. The center has constructed a one-and-a-half mile boardwalk elevated above the habitat. It’s ideal for self-guided tours.
Along the boardwalk are QR signs that you can scan with your smartphone to get information about what you see during your walk.
Indulge your desire to learn about the natural world by attending one of the center’s regular educational programs. Contact the center for availability. Seats are by reservation only.
The center also has an exhibit room featuring live animals.
This is the park for you if you want to get a feel for the Florida of another era. It sits along the Loxahatchee River, which was the first river in the country to receive the designation of “wild and scenic.”
The park’s emphasis is on preserving for future generations the history of Florida’s Native Americans and European settlers. Historical and cultural landmarks abound.
The park also features close to 10 miles of hiking and bicycling trails with picnic pavilions along the way.
Horseback riders have 7 miles of horseback trails to explore.
For those who love the water, there’s also kayaking and canoeing.
Morikami Park offers a much-needed oasis of peace in a restless world. It’s the home of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.
This is the most unique of the Palm Beach County nature parks. It exists to offer visitors an insight into Japanese culture and aesthetics. Throughout the year, there are seminars and classes to give museum-goers the opportunity to delve deeper into their interests.
The highlight of the park is its garden complex made up of six distinct gardens—shinden, paradise, early rock, karesansui late, hiraniwa flat and modern romantic.
Each garden takes its inspiration from a famous garden in Japan that dates from the 9th to the 20th century. This includes the karesansui late garden which showcases the type of Japanese garden most easily recognized in the west—the Zen rock garden.
The Morikami gardens don’t attempt to mimic or copy the historic gardens. They simply use the original design as the launching pad for their distinct creativity.
The gardens designed to make people slow down and rethink their relationship to nature.
The garden’s designer Hoichi Kurisu stated, “I will have accomplished my goal if visitors to the gardens come away refreshed and feeling better about themselves and their world while looking forward to sharing their experiences here with others.”
It’s certain that you’ll find one of the Palm Beach County nature parks that suits you perfectly. Don’t be surprised if you discover several. After all, you obviously have many from which to choose.