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Jupiter Ridge Natural Area

 
Hiking trail

Region: Northern Palm Beach County

Size: 270 acres

Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset

Location:
1800 South U.S. Highway 1, Jupiter, FL 33477 (not a mailing address). The entrance is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 1, one mile south of Indiantown Road.

Public Use Facilities:
Site facilities include a parking area for ten cars and two buses, a bicycle rack, an accessible portable toilet, a kiosk with educational exhibits, an accessible nature trail leading to a covered observation platform, and natural-surface hiking trails. Visitors also may access the site by beaching a small boat on a sandy area known as Ski Beach along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, where there is a small kiosk with educational exhibits and a connection to the hiking trail system. Part of the Jupiter Riverwalk, a multiuse concrete pathway, is adjacent to the eastern boundary of the site. The Riverwalk runs west from A1A to the natural area and is planned to extend north to the Jupiter Inlet. There is no drinking water available on the natural area.

Site Information:
The natural area contains five native Florida ecosystems: scrub, scrubby flatwoods, mesic flatwoods, depression marsh, and mangrove swamp. State Preservation 2000 matching funds for the acquisition of most of the site were provided through the Conservation and Recreational Lands Program. The state owns 267 acres of the site, which are leased to Palm Beach County. The rest of the natural area is owned by Palm Beach County. The County manages the natural area with the assistance of the Town of Jupiter. Since 1940, the width of the shoreline along the western border of the natural area has narrowed due to erosion caused by boat wakes. The amount of shoreline lost ranges from 30 feet to 150 feet, depending on the location. A shoreline restoration project has begun that includes construction of 23 limestone oyster reef/breakwaters to protect 6,000 feet of shoreline and planting of 1.2 acres of native species such as red mangrove, cordgrass, and seashore paspalum. The natural area is part of the Northeast Everglades Natural Area.

Plants:
Plant species observed on the site include bushy bluestem, lemon bacopa, gray nicker, common buttonbush, purple lovegrass, scrub pinweed, four-petal pawpaw, scrub live oak, sand pine, and bulltongue arrowhead.

Wildlife:
Animal species observed on the site include rosy wolfsnail, comet darner, two-striped walkingstick, mangrove skipper, Atlantic needlefish, scrub lizard, gopher tortoise, Florida scrub-jay, hermit thrush, and West Indian manatee.

Links:

All Palm Beach County natural areas are publicly-owned and are open for passive, natural resource-based recreational public uses such as hiking, bird watching, nature study and photography. Other recreational uses, as authorized under the Natural Areas Ordinance (Chapter 11, Article XI of the Palm Beach County Code), may be permitted in designated areas on a site-specific basis. Certain natural areas may be temporarily closed for environmental restoration activities and/or other public safety issues. Users should confirm that the natural area they plan to visit has existing public use facilities which match the users proposed activity; not all natural areas are readily accessible or have existing public use facilities such as a parking area, accessible trails, natural-surfaced walking paths, trail markers, and/or information kiosks.

 

Jupiter Ridge Map

 
 

Recreational Activities

 

Northeast Everglades Natural Area