As you make know, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department offers opportunities to explore a variety of traditional activities, such as hiking, biking and jogging. But did you realize your family can try lesser-known, more adventurous activities in our parks?
Discover the range of ways your family can enjoy the outdoors:
Here are a couple of ways that families can work on bow-and-arrow skills and learn this sport.
Okeeheelee Nature Center west of West Palm Beach offers two classes on select Saturdays each month. Subscribe to the monthly What's Happening newsletter via email for details, including schedules and fees. Wear close-toed shoes and bring water and sun protection. Equipment is provided, and space is limited in these classes:
- Beginners: Learn the basics from safety to shooting during this two-hour program.
- Open range: This is the chance to practice those newfound skills, focusing on precision and accuracy with a compound bow.
The Gold Coast Archers Club has a permit and operates a standard target range and a 3D range in West Delray Regional Park. It encourages guests to attend events and meetings. Information is available on the club's website. Applications for membership also are available in a mailbox at the entrance to the range.
Kayaking and canoeing are great ways to get out on the water, discover plants and animals, make new friends and get a little exercise. It’s also a great bonding activity for families.
Canoes, kayaks and other non-motorized vessels may be launched from any shoreline (unless closed for a special event or private use) if it can be carried without a trailer back onto the beach or grassy area. Bring your own canoe/kayak to explore 20 Palm Beach County parks. Or, rent a boat at these two parks at Okeeheelee west of West Palm Beach or Riverbend Park in Jupiter from a on-site vendor (rates and schedules vary):
- Okeeheelee Park, west of West Palm Beach: Rent a canoe, kayak, paddleboard or pedal boat (or bicycle). Visit Kayak King Watersports or call 561-304-1344 for details.
- Riverbend Park, in Jupiter: Reservations are recommended for canoe and kayak rental (and bicycles). Visit Jupiter Outdoor Center or call 561-747-0063 for reservations.
This cycle sport gives adventurers a thrill-packed time! Families can participate or watch BMXers perform stunts on their bikes at these two Palm Beach County parks:
- Okeeheelee BMX track in Okeeheelee Park, west of West Palm Beach, has a separate western entrance. It is operated by the Okeeheelee BMX Parents Council and is open to members who have a USA BMX license. For details, call 561-642-6774 or visit the group's website.
- Loggers' Run BMX jump course in Loggers' Run Park, west of Boca Raton, is operated by nonprofit Drop In Action Sports Complex. Visit its website for details or call 954-295-9894.
These are popular among kids and teens who enjoy skateboarding, freestyle biking and inline skating in an action-packed environment. Families can make new friends, learn new tricks and work on their skills inside these recreational environments:
- The Drop In Action Sports Complex (mentioned above) is in Loggers’ Run Park west of Boca Raton and is not operated by the county. Call 954-295-9894.
- West Boynton Skate Park is in West Boynton Park. Call 561-355-1125 for more information.
The Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach hosts equestrian shows throughout the year, such as The Ridge Farm series, Palm Beach County Mounted Posse Horse Shows and Barrel Point Show. The world-class center features a covered arena, show arenas, a range of amenities for competitors and 9 miles of trails.
Palm Beach County parks don't provide horse rentals but do offer equestrian trails to enjoy the scenery via horseback at these three parks:
• Airplanes and helicopters (by permit only): Fly and do stunts at West Delray Regional and Dyer parks.
• Boats (by permit only): Watch the boats sail past each other or launch your boat on the designated lake at West Delray Regional Park.
• Cars: No permit is required to use the tracks at West Delray Regional Park.
Bibi Baksh is public relations specialist for Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.