Along the Marsh Trail

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County


The Marsh Trail is really a broad grid of marshes and canals criss-crossed by broad trails layed out almost like a city. It covers 272 acres and 10 impoundments, all in all making for a perfect spot for an evening stroll. It's vast enough that even when busy, it doesn't feel busy. After you park your car, walk to the wooded area to the east of the lot; in winter and early spring, painted buntings, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays and the occasional red-shouldered hawk forage here As you walk south, look along the canal that divides Loxahatchee from the farmlands immediately to its east. Great blue herons, little blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets and green herons wade in its waters, looking out for a meal. In the trees and snags along the way, red-shouldered hawks hang out looking for an easy meal. In the cooler months, kestrels might join them. Alligators patrol the waters on both sides of the trail. Walk far enough down the trail and you might spot endangered snail kites; great horned owls often nest in the cypress trees in fall and winter (crowds of people armed with telescopes and cameras with long lenses tell you that the owls are about). Walk to the south end of the trail in late spring and early summer and you'll see black-necked stilts foraging in the mudflats. NEXT STOP


Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.
Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.