Palm Beach County recently announced that new public-use facilities at the Winding Waters Natural Area are now open.
The 548-acre natural area, managed by the Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM), is located off Dyer Blvd., west of Haverhill Road in West Palm Beach.
Newly installed public-use amenities include: an accessible nature trail, canoe/kayak launch; covered observation platform overlooking a restored wetland; five miles of natural surface hiking trails with shade shelters; three miles of canoe/kayak trail through the created marsh; and educational kiosks.
The natural area contains six native Florida ecosystems: mesic flatwoods, wet flatwoods, prairie hammock, wet prairie, depression marsh and dome swamp. Extensive site restoration activities to remove invasive nonnative vegetation, restore historic sheet flow of water across the site, and create 136 acres of wetlands have been completed.
The lands that make up the site were acquired in 2001. Funding partners include Palm Beach County, the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through the Recreational Trails Program and the United States Department of Agriculture through the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Winding Waters Natural Area is part of the Northeast Everglades Natural Area (NENA), a system of 165,000 acres of conservation lands in northern Palm Beach County and southern Martin County.
For more information about the project, and other county natural areas, visit www.pbcgov.org/erm/natural.