Lake Ida Park West

Delray Beach, Palm Beach County

1455 Lake Ida Road
Delray Beacch


Overview: Lake Ida Park is 189 acres of mostly water. It features a dog park, where you can let your pooch run free and play with his furry friends. It offers some of the best freshwater fishing in South Florida, with trophy-size peacock bass and more. But Lake Ida Park also a decent place spot some of our feathered friends, ospreys, green herons, mottled ducks and more. Walk along the shore line and you might spot some native wildflowers, including sweetscent, lateflowering thoroughwort, pond apple and whitevine. Palm Beach County owns the park and also the 20-acre Lake Ida Park East on the opposite bank.

History: Lake Ida is the southern-most of a chain of lakes that extends roughly from western Lake Worth Beach through central Palm Beach County to South Palm Beach County. Drainage canals dug beginning in 1916 doomed four of the lakes that sat to the north and shrank the size of Lake Ida, which once ranged south nearly to Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach. The lake is named after Ida M. Lowery Linton, the wife of a Michigan congressman who invested in the real estate that was to become Delray Beach. Palm Beach County began buying up land and easements for the park in 1945, making it one of the oldest parks in the county.

What You'll See: The land side of Lake Ida is mostly manicured park. The shoreline is where most of the "action" is. There are a few "wild" spots, particularly a lagoon in the southern half of the park, where nature rules and where some interesting plants and birds lurk. Look for water fowl like Egyptian geese and mottled ducks, and wading birds like great blue herons, green herons and great egrets. In the south end of the lake, where it's a bit untamed, you might spot an osprey with an eye out for a meal. Look for migrators, like the yellow0-throated warbler, prairie warbler and American redstart, in the spring and fall.

Amenities: Lake Ida Park has a walking path that follows the shoreline. There is the aforementioned dog park, picnic pavilions and shelters, boat launches and trailer parking, canoe/kayak launches, restrooms, overlooks and playgrounds.

Nearby: Seacrest Scrub Natural Area sits nearby on Seacrest Avenue in Boynton Beach. Delray Oaks Natural Area is several miles south on Congress Avenue. Delray's Municipal Beach is a five or 10 minute drive to the east. If you're willing to drive 15 minutes or so west along Lake Ida Road you'll find Wakodatchee Wetlands on Jog Road and Green Cay Nature Center on Hagen Ranch Road. Both are among the best birding sites in South Florida and definitely worth the drive.

Of Note: Entrance to the park is free; there is plenty of parking. Lake Ida Park West is open sunrise to sunset daily.

Cover Photo: An osprey perching in some pond apple trees. For him (or her) Lake Ida, with its stocks of fish, has to be an absolute paradise.
Virtual Tour

Getting There ...
Lake Ida Park West sits on the north side of Lake Ida Road, just east of the CSX Railroad tracks and the I95 overpass. It can be reached via I95 by exiting at Atlantic Avenue, heading west, then turning north on Congress Avenue for about a mile. Turn right at Lake Ida Road. From U.S. 1, turn west onto NE 4th Street in Delary Beach, which becomes Lake Ida Road.

Photo Gallery for Lake Ida Park West

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.