Steven L. Abrams
Mary Lou Berger
"An equal opportunity
By Philip Johnsey
As a friend and I were soaking up the serenity of nature, we were amazed at how quiet it was considering the proximity to busy civilization. The oasis I’m referring to is Apoxee Park and is located just a mile or so north of the Vista Center at 3125 North Jog Rd.
Apoxee (pronounced Ah-po-ee) means Beyond Tomorrow in the Miccosukee language and is the first of the City of West Palm Beach’s urban wilderness parks. Unique to the park is they use the wetlands to provide a new water supply (maximum 10 million gallons per day) in order to achieve both urban and environmental water sustainability.
From the parking lot the trail begins and shortly after provides two options; a paved loop or a dirt path to the right. The paved portion is a short loop through pine and oak trees. If you go in the late afternoon, you’ll hear the calls of the Great Horned owls echoing through the trees. Occasionally, you can even see them.
The dirt path is narrow and tree lined with occasional openings to catch a glimpse of the water. A boardwalk here and there provides unobstructed views of the lakes. Benches are strategically placed along the way to sit and enjoy the view of the water or just enjoy the sunshine. One of these benches amidst some trees was the perfect lunch spot.
Shortly after crossing the power line road, the trail forks and fortunately there is a big sign and a map. Going right leads to a long L shaped boardwalk the traverses one of the lakes. Throughout the water is a variety of plant life that provides a carpet like covering on the bottom. The plant life is so thick in areas, it looks like small canyons under water.
The boardwalk dead ends into another trail which is flat and looks like the perfect place to ride a bike. At this point there was another bench with a view of the lily pads, water and trees. The serene view, gentle wind through the trees, and warm sun made for perfect place to just relax.
According to the map, the trails extend for many more miles so I’ll be back to continue exploring. It’s a nice oasis right in town for walking, biking, and bird watching. For more info: www.wpb.org/park/apoxee-park/
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