9 great walks in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Tequesta, Singer Island

If you’re out for a walk in northern Palm Beach County, there are many familiar spots. Maybe too familiar — just look at all the strollers, runners and bikers crowding any oceanside stretch of A1A from Juno to Jupiter.

Perhaps you’re seeking some place not so well-trod, slightly apart from the traffic and bustle, a place to Zen a little with your exercise.

From the coastline to the edge of the Everglades, these nine walking spots — in parks, shopping districts, neighborhoods and even a cemetery — are a little under-the-radar, even if some are hiding in plain sight.

By the way, most of these paradise paths are paved. Call them sidewalk strolls. If your steps vary, there are plenty of dusty scrubs and untamed trails to explore.


Pine Glades Natural Area, west of Jupiter

There are two things you can count on at Pine Glades: A spectacular sunset and an alligator sighting. What’s more Florida than that? This 6,651-acre preservation zone has two sidewalks fringed by aquatic grasses leading to an observation platform and a fishing pier. On a recent evening, as an orange fireball faded in the western sky, the sounds of ducks on the water and an insistent woodpecker filled the air. A fisherwoman pointed out the snout of a large alligator floating by, close but not too close. You can often see them sunning on the banks under the pier. As for walking, the sidewalks are not made for working up a sweat, but there are 1-4 miles of unpaved trails looping through the area. As a place to de-stress at the end of eight hours of urban overload, and score a snapshot sure to rake in likes on your Instagram account, Pine Glades is perfection.

Chill factor (rated from 1-4 sunglasses): 😎😎😎😎

Address14122 W Indiantown Rd, Jupiter. More information here.


Palm Beach Shores

This town on the southern edge of Singer Island maintains the funky feel of Old Roadside Florida: Motels, apartments and restaurants with Art Deco curves and ’50s names such as the Cascade and Top O’ The Spray. But one of its chief delights is the sidewalk ribbon that cuts through the middle of town, passing by landscaped lawns, lovely trees, park benches and the town’s administrative hub, housed in quaint, old-school buildings. Beginning at a large fountain at Bamboo Road and Park Avenue, the peaceful stroll terminates at a rock-lined Lake Worth Inlet. Walk west and check out the view of Peanut Island and the Riviera Beach port, then double back east to see waves crashing and foaming against the edge of the cut to the Atlantic Ocean. If you head back down Ocean Avenue to the Singer Island beach and restaurants, you’ve put in a good two-mile hike.

Chill factor: 😎😎😎

Address: Bamboo Road and Park Avenue, Palm Beach Shores. More information here


Riverwalk, Jupiter

Many people probably associate Riverwalk with Harbourside Place and the festivals held under the Indiantown Road bridge. But keep walking south under the bridge, and through the Jupiter Yacht Club, where The Dive Bar and French Bistro restaurants boast postcard views of the marina. Make your way around the southern side of the docks, and you’ll discover one of Jupiter’s hidden delights. This nearly mile-long sidewalk stroll lets you observe big powerboats and yachts barreling down the Loxahatchee River, while also providing many Instagram moments, especially along the Lagoon Bridge and in lush, quiet mangroves hugging the shore. The paths are wide and feature water fountains and shady park benches. A walking path also connects Riverwalk to Jupiter Ridge Natural Area. Even better: Riverwalk will eventually be extended north of Harbourside Place to Burt Reynolds Park and the Inlet Village.

Chill factor: 😎😎😎

Address: East side of Intracoastal, south of Jupiter Yacht Club, Jupiter. More information here


Downtown at the Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens

Who doesn’t like Downtown At The Gardens? Eat, see a movie, shop. Take a walk in the park. You didn’t know there was a park? That’s because not many people think about Downtown Park, the half-mile path around the lake behind Cheesecake Factory, as a destination in itself. But it’s a cool, relaxing oasis, elegantly landscaped, especially in the shaded areas near the luxury condos, office buildings and Hilton Garden Inn on the far side. Ducks and birds abound. Two long bridges traverse the man-made lake. Fountains splash. If nothing else, it’s a great way to work up an appetite. One aesthetic nit: The large dam walls on one side that hold in all that water are necessary, but kind of ugly. Would a few tasteful murals help?

Chill factor: 😎😎😎

Address: 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave, Palm Beach Gardens. More information here


Ocean Drive, Juno Beach

What’s the most famous place in Juno Beach? The pier? Juno Dunes? The Loggerhead Marinelife Center? For those in the know, the town’s true heart is the mile-long path around its signature 12-acre Pelican Lake, adjacent to the town hall/police station. It’s never too crowded, the gazebos have picture-perfect views and you can stretch your legs while also feeling at a blissful remove from everyday concerns. There’s a nearby children’s park, and access to the town’s somewhat secluded beach. The street that runs along the back side of the lake has a perfect name for how this place makes you feel: Celestial Way.

Chill factor: 😎😎😎😎

Address: 340 Ocean Drive, Juno Beach. More information here


Frenchman’s Forest Natural Area, Palm Beach Gardens

Take only a few steps into this 172-acre natural preserve and you’ll feel like civilization is a foreign concept. A deep thicket of trees, brush and fallen leaves makes the city drop away. It’s a bit Southern gothic. You wonder: Will I need an ax to chop my way out? This preserve boasts 500 species of animals, from manatees to the great horned owl, and 200 varieties of plants. The paved trail is a quarter-mile and there are one-mile sandy hiking trails, as well as a secluded lake and a boardwalk. This is what Florida looked like before we got here, and it’s fascinating — and perhaps a little scary, too.

Chill factor: πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜Ž

Address: 12201 Prosperity Farms Road, Palm Beach Gardens. More information here


Kelsey Park, Lake Park

Buzzing down Federal Highway in Lake Park, you’ve probably noticed the big curved entrance sign to Kelsey Park. But you’ve probably never stopped to look around. That’s too bad. There’s more here than a drive-by glance indicates. The park was the first project of developer Harry Kelsey, who amassed 100,000 acres by 1919 to create what was then known as Kelsey City, a k a the Miracle City, the Courtesy City and The Gateway to the World’s Winter Playground. The town was designed by the Olmsted brothers, of Central Park fame. There is a sense of lost elegance to the park’s design, with slightly rusted fountains bearing lion motifs, curving sidewalks and a walkway that leads down to the Intracoastal, where you can stare across at the Singer Island condos resembling a spaced row of gap teeth. On any given day, you can see couples sitting by the water, families on the playground or people just relaxing. A walk around the roughly quarter-mile sidewalk path is sure to lower your blood pressure by a few points.

Chill factor: 😎😎😎😎

Address: 601 Federal Highway, Lake Park. More information here


Oaks Park, Palm Beach Gardens

Unless you live in the Gardens East area, near the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, you’ve probably never heard of this jewel box of a neighborhood park. On the surface, there’s nothing special here: a tennis court, a park pavilion and a curving, nearly mile-long red dirt trail that passes a canal fringed with oak trees. That’s it. But the Zen simplicity of the place is what makes it so wonderful: It’s quiet, contemplative and a great place to get your steps in while clearing your head.

Chill factor: 😎😎😎😎

Address: 10666 Gardens E Dr, Palm Beach Gardens. More information here


Riverside Memorial Park, Tequesta

OK, OK, it’s a cemetery. If the idea of taking a restful walk in a resting place doesn’t weird you out too much, this spot on the Palm Beach County-Martin County line has more than just a cool, quiet, quarter-mile path canopied by trees. It’s also got some historical-celebrity interest: the graves of entertainers (Perry Como, Mike Douglas), sports legends (Chuck Daly, Gary Carter) and Jupiter pioneer names (Carlin, Rood, etc.). 

Chill factor: 😎😎😎😎

Address: 19351 SE Countyline Road, Tequesta. More information here

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