Dual Review: Cypress Creek Natural Area and Riverbend Park

Published October 5, 2012 by mrsrag

 

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Natural Areas.  Cypress Creek is located at the Northwest corner of Jupiter Farms Rd. and Indiantown Rd.  Riverbend Park is less than a mile from there to the east at 9060 Indiantown Rd., Jupiter, FL 33478.  Also at Riverbend, to rent canoes phone (561) 746-7053.

Maria and I LOVE to go on long walks.  We walk the beach in Jupiter.  We walk through our neighborhood.  And as luck would have it, we have two lovely natural areas within a few minutes drive from the house that we take advantage of from time to time.  We first discovered Cypress Creek Natural Area.  The parking area is nestled off of Indiantown Road just a whisker west of the light at Jupiter Farms Road, and it’s very easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.  Once you park, there are two trails to choose from at this time (more are coming I believe, it appears they are in development), one heads west, the other to the east.  The western trail is hard packed sand, and it meanders through the woods with wildlife in abundance and several observation platforms, shade shelters, bike racks and horse hitches.  Yes, bikers and horseback riders are welcome.  The western trail goes for approximately two miles, which would be a four mile round trip, we usually go halfway or a little more before turning back.  There is very little shade on this trail and it gets HOT out there.  The eastern trail is shorter, a little over two miles for a round trip, and it offers plenty of shade, as well as more of a grassy surface for walking on.  We really have enjoyed our walks through Cypress Creek, but the other day we decided to try Riverbend Park for the first time and I think we’ve found a new favorite.

I like investigating things.  I guess its been a hobby of mine to be quite nosy ever since studying journalism at URI, in fact its a trait the discipline thrives on.  Ross and I travel up and down Indiantown Road almost every single day; going to the grocery store, picking up Ethan, journeying to the beach etc. etc. etc.  Sometime ago, I was gazing out the window and spotted a trail weaving right alongside the road.  I was instantly intrigued and thought we should give Cypress Creek a try.  Unfortunately, we often don’t make it there until early afternoon, when the sun is blazing down.  I’ve been wanting to give it a go at dawn, but honestly my motivation wanes when it comes to early morning exercise.  Recently, I happened to notice Riverbend Park and that became my new investigation.  When you drive into the park it’s hard to believe its nearly a third of the size of CypressRiverbend is a mere 680 acres, as opposed to the preserve’s daunting 2,083 acres.  Ross informed me of that fact when we began researching the parks.  I was surprised, since Riverbend seemed so extensive, but the new spot may be more accesssible to the public at this time.  My advice for trekking around Riverbend is to refer to the detailed maps and the helpful signs that mark the trails.  We almost got lost and in peak Florida heat that could be a serious mistake.  Truthfully, it would be wise to bring some cold water on either of these trails.

Yes cold water is a must.  Riverbend’s trails are well marked, but they go all over the place.  We studied the map pretty good after our walk the other day and have our next sojourn already planned.  As noted above, they also rent canoes at the park, something we are definitely going to do soon with Ethan.  With 5 miles of waterway within the park, we should have quite a paddle.  Like Cypress Creek, horses and bikers are welcome, but at Riverbend there are also plenty of picnic areas with grills and even picnic pavillions that seat 30 or more.  These areas are available on a first come first serve basis.  Fishing is also allowed.  With the river prevalent almost everywhere you roam, aesthetically, Riverbend is a bit nicer stroll than Cypress Creek.  In the future Maria and I will review more parks and nature preserves. We intend to white water raft, hike, zipline and whatever else we can think of.  We will also be updating many of our reviews with photos, so be sure to visit us at mrsrag.com as often as you can.

Another one of my hobbies is photography.  I absolutely love taking pictures, especially of wildlife and landscapes.  But my camera needs some serious work.  Regretfully, the last time we travelled down the sandy path at Cypress Creek we were rendered speechless by the sight of the tiniest fawn I’ve ever seen.  And that’s saying something coming from a girl that lived in the Hudson Valley – upstate New York’s most bountiful deer territory.  This fawn must have been newly born because it was the size of a throw pillow.  Ross and I sat there staring back at the startled little guy for about 2 or 3 minutes and then it scampered away into the brush.  We both looked at each other and almost simultaneously said, “Picture!…why didn’t we try and take a picture!”  We had Ross’ iPhone and although it wouldn’t have done the fawn justice, it would have been better than nothing.  Once I get a new camera or repair this useless box of light I have now, I promise we’ll get some photos up here.  In the meantime, go check the parks out firsthand – that’s the best way to see them anyway!

Ross’ Ratings: Cypress Creek Natural Area- 3.5 Walking Sticks out of 5.  Riverbend Park- 4 Walking Sticks.

Maria’s Rating: Cypress Creek – 3.5 Walking Sticks.  Riverbend Park – 4.5 Walking Sticks.

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