Ocean Ridge Hammock Park

Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach County

royal tern
6620 N. Ocean Blvd.
Ocean Ridge


Overview: Ocean Ridge Hammock is a small (8.54 acres) beach front park buffered from busy A1A by a thick coastal forest of mainly massive sea grape trees, mixed in with a few gumbo limbo, paradise trees, caggage (sabal) palms and strangler figs, among others. The parking lot is small, on the west side of the two-lane highway, and a short path cuts through the hammock to the dune and down to the beach. The park is intended for beach goers — swimming, fishing, strolling, relaxing, reflecting and so forth, but the park also offers some important natural elements for the more naturalist minded as well.

While small, it does open up access to beaches north to the Boynton Inlet and south to Oceanfront Park, Boynton Beach's municipal beach, and beyond. From a naturalist point of view, we wouldn't rate the park, operated by Palm Beach County, as a destination in and of itself. But there are two other county beachfront parks — Outlet Park and Gulfstream Park — plus the Ocean Ridge Natural Area within a few miles that collectively would make a reasonable drive worthwhile.

What You'll See: Sanderlings dodging waves, royal, caspian and sandwich terns resting on the beach and plying the ocean waters for a meal. We've seen herring gulls, laughing gulls with their cackling calls, ring-billed gulls and the European tourists, the lesser black-backed gulls. In the hammock you might catch some song birds, perhaps some migrating warblers taking a break from their epic journeys. The hammock might be particularly fruitful after a passing ocean storm.

As you walk the trail through the dune to the beach, note the sea oats, railraod vine beach star, dune marsh elder, east coast dune sunflower and other plants that are critical in holding the dune together. They are vital in creating and protecting this important habitat.

Amenities: The few amenities that Ocean Ridge Park offers includes a small parking lot on the west side of A1A, aka N. Ocean Blvd, a shower and the path through the hammock. It has neither drinking water nor restrooms, though both are available at neighboring Oceanfront Park, Boynton Beach's municipal beach. There are no life guards.

Nearby: Ocean Ridge Natural Area is about a mile or so south off A1A on Corrine Street. Delray Beach Municipal Beach is a five or 10 minute drive to the south. For something completely different, Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area is to the north and west on the mainland.High Ridge Scrub Natural Area is a few minutes farther west.

Of Note: Ocean Ridge Hammock Park is open sunrise to sunset everyday of the year. Admission is free.

Cover Photo: Royal terns are one of the regulars among the bird species that patrol the stretch of beach that includes Ocean Ridge Hammock Park.
Virtual Tour

Getting There ...
DIRECTIONS: Ocean Ridge Hammock Park is situated on A1A north of East Ocean Avenue in Boynton Beach/Ocean Ridge. Cross the Intracoastal from U.S. 1 at E. Ocean and turn left. The Parking lot is just north of the Ocean Ridge municipal building on the west side of A1A and Oceanfront Park on the east side. The lot is on the west side; the beach on the east side through the hammock.

Photo Gallery for Ocean Ridge Hammock Park

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.