Our route starts at the Park Avenue, on which we will move north from Bamboo Street, just at the point where we will see the giant seal of the tiny town of Palm Beach Shores engraved on the pavement.
Once we get to the US 1 / Federal Highway we’ll turn north quickly to get to Lake Park. At the US 1 there is a park dedicated to the founder -Harry Kelsey- overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. Right in front, at the other side of the lagoon is a natural reserve with sand and coastal fruits which is what these parts looked like decades ago. Then we will be circulating in North Palm Beach. Among the points of interest which we will highlight the town hall and the Country Club with golf courses that had been originally created by Kelsey himself, formerly known as the Winter Club. The next point on the route will be Juno Ridge, home to about 740 people near Palm Beach Gardens.
On the PGA Blvd / SR 786 we’ll begin to head west, initially across a shopping area with hundreds of offices and banks. Then we’ll pass the two major highways that run through the state from north to south, the I-95 and the Turnpike as we enter PGA Commons, a modern and stylish dining and shopping district.
Soon the sights become greener and you’ll see the large and affluent residential complexes, roads and wooden bridges over the swampy areas, and huge houses and many golf courses will be visible in the background. Next is the PGA National Golf Club, the national headquarters of this sport. Having reached the C-18 canal, civilization gives way to the Loxahatchee Slough, a section of the Everglades composed of extensive pine forests, sawgrass and flooded land, rich in wildlife.
In two miles we’ll merge right at the Bee Line Road / SR 710 where the North Palm Beach County General Airport is, a civilian airport located in the endless masses of trees that dominate the landscape from now on. Then we’ll find Caloosa, a rural community devoted almost entirely to horseback riding, with more than thirty miles of tracks within it for the enjoyment of this activity. After having advanced about six kilometers we’ll see a canal and we’ll cross the road entering a dirt road closed to motor traffic. The thresher opens this part of our journey out of the asphalt and is called Halpatiokee Road in honor of a tribal leader. Once we’ve left behind the railway tracks we will be surrounded by nature, but we’ll be surprised by the wide corridors that can be seen in the forest. From the air it looks like a city, named streets, unpaved roads, delimited blocks, but without housing and in the midst of absolute nothingness.
This Wildlife Management Area, as all WMAs, is a natural recreational area away from any inhabited place. As soon as we arrive, we must pay for the entrance. The proceeds go directly to the maintenance of the park. Once there, we’ll advance along the main path, the Stumpers Grade. On the right we’ll find the Everglades Environmental Youth Conservation Camp, and about six miles and a half from there, among clearings, sawgrass meadows, forests, streams and lakes, we’ll get to a canal that ends the lane and at the same time, the first half of our journey. Officially, the Jones / Hungryland Wildlife Environmental Area is bordered to the north by the J.W. Corbett and annexed to Pine Glades Natural Area. To the west there’s the DuPuis Recreation Area. All this territory is part of the Florida Birding Trail, a statewide network for observing birds and an extension of the Florida National Trail, a path for walkers nationwide.
Now, to complete the route, we must go back to Palm Beach Shores. On the bike we must proceed with caution in urban areas and always be alert. If necessary, we’ll have to climb to the sidewalks. Anyway, the roads will give us enough room to roll.
Read Patrick Dwyer's "A bike ride through Cubitis, Moffitt, Popash, and Griffin's Corner"