Delaware Scrub Natural Area

Jupiter, Palm Beach County

scutter's bush katydid
47 North Delaware Boulevard


Intro: The name Delaware Scrub Natural Area doesn't come close to describing this 16-acre gem. There is as much packed into those 16 acres as can be imagined. More actually. It covers seven different habitats within its boundaries.

There is scrub, of course, but there's also scrubby flatwoods, mesic (moist) flatwoods, a cypress dome swamp, a tidal swamp and mangrove forest and a salt marsh along the eastern boundary with Jones Creek, a tributary of the Loxahatchee River.

And with that diversity comes the opportunity to see different forms of life, warblers and other small birds in the woods, wading birds like great blue herons along the mangroves and an abundance of insects and invertebrates.

History: Palm Beach County targeted Delaware Scrub's 16 acres as part of a 1999 bond referendum held to fund expansion of the county's natural areas. The town of Jupiter approved a similar funding program, and the two, with the help of the State's Florida Forever program, bought the site in May 2005.

What You'll See: A little bit of everything. Perhaps manatees foraging in Jones Creek, herons perching in the mangroves, or a gopher tortoise making its way through the scrub. We've found the area near the parking lot particularly rich with wildflowers, some of which are rare.

Amenities: Delaware Scrub has a small parking lot, appropriate for its size. The main Forked Blue Curls Trail is 0.35 miles long, wheelchair accessible and leads from the parking lot to an overlook on Jones Creek. A boardwalk along the trail an inside look at a cypress dome swamp. There is a short, natural surface trail that branches off through the flatwoods and returns to the Forked Blue Curls Trail just as it approaches the Jones Creek overlook. There is an interpretive kiosk in the parking lot but there is no drinking water or restrooms on site.

Nearby: There are at least 10 natural areas and parks within a 15-20 minute drive of Delaware Scrub, including Jonathan Dickinson State Park and Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge to the north and Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area to the west. Closer in, there are Juno Dunes Natural Area Oceanfront Tract and West; Jupter Ridge Natural Area, Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Natural Area, Cypress Creek Natural Area North and South and Pine Glades Natural Area.

Of Note: Delaware Scrub Natural Area is open sunrise to sunset every day of the year, as are all Palm Beach County natural areas. Admission is free.

Virtual Tour

Cover Photo: Delaware Scrub Natural Area is a place of mostly small things, and a member of Scudder's bush katydids seems appropriate to represent the preserve. Katydids are common animals, but it's rare to catch sight of one so out in the open during daylight hours.
Getting There ...
From I95, exit Indiantown Road East. Delaware Scrub sits 1.8 miles east on the north Side of Indiantown. Entrance is the first right. From U.S. 1, Delaware Scrub sits about 1.8 miles to the west.

Photo Gallery for Delaware Scrub Natural Area

Click on the photograph to see an enlarged image. Click on the name to read more about the species.

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.