Enjoying a Day at Riverbend Park

Dated: April 26 2021

Views: 100

One of Jupiter, Florida’s no-so-hidden gems is historic Riverbend Park. With miles and miles of walking, biking and equestrian trails, this 680-acre preserve is straight out of a Florida history novel.

 

Flowing through the park is the Loxahatchee River, a nationally designated Wild and Scenic River. Enjoy the beauty of fresh and salt water ecosystems and all the wildlife and vegetation that come with both. Whether it’s for a couple of hours, half-day, or full-day there’s something for everyone here.

Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic under an Oak Hammock or Pine Flatwood- and keep an eye open for the wildlife. Deer, turkey, peacock, and great horned owls have all been spotted here. While the bike and walking paths are popular, one of the best ways to take in the beauty of this area is directly on the water. Don’t let the occasional alligator keep you away, people have been cruising down this river for decades.

 
*Photo curtosey of JupiterDaily.com

The beauty of being among the shaded cypress trees as you navigate the river is just magical. Though the park has public ramps to drop in your own vessels, (electric trolling motors OK- but not encouraged due to disrupting the wildlife and navigating areas of under-water brush.) Jupiter Outdoor Center offers a variety of hourly to daily rental options.

A full 8.5-mile stretch will take you from Riverbend Park to Jonathan Dickinson State Park, and is recommended to account for at least 8 hours to make the trip in the day. JOC also offers half day and 2-hour rentals where you can paddle downstream and turn around at your leisure. Though you do fight the current once you turn around, the water is still easily manageable to paddle back in. There're 2 wooded dams through this portion of the river, both with their own challenges- you can either take the short footpath and carry your kayak around them or for the more adventurous- tackle them straight on if the waters are high enough.

   

Depending on the time of the year, you can continue past the second dam and work your way towards Trapper Nelson’s, a cabin about 2/3rds of the 8.5 miles stretch tucked into the wilderness of Jonathan Dickinson’s. Just be mindful, after a few miles from your launching point, the shade from the cypress trees becomes sparse as you take on the direct Florida sun in a wider portion of the river. Contact with motorized vessels is likely here.

 
*Photo courtesy of FloridianMagazine.com

If you’re interested in learning more about rentals, head to Jupiter Outdoor Center:

  • 2-hour single: $35
  • 2-hour tandem: $50

  • Half-day single: $45
  • Half-day tandem: $65

  • Full-day single: $60
  • Full-day tandem: $85

  • 2-person Canoes start at: $50/2hrs
  • Bike rentals from: $20/2hrs

  


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Erica Wolfe

No one knows their way around Jupiter, Florida like native resident and Realtor Erica Gouldy Wolfe. She’s been up and down just about every street of this charming, 24-square mile waterfront town. W....

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