The air wasn’t getting any cooler, and my shirt stuck to my back. The bugs were relentless, having a feast on the sole human visitor to West Delray Regional Park. As I rode along the lake, I startled what appeared to be an immature Red-tailed hawk. I sped ahead to get a closer view, taking in the more pointed wings, the narrow reddish tail with a dark band, the white underbody, as the American Kestrel–the smallest North American falcon, about the same size as a robin– flew off. The sight of this Kestrel far outweighed the discomfort of the heat and humidity.
West Delray has one big loop that is about 2.5 miles, with a one-mile stretch of fairly technical singletrack. The trail passes along a lake offering two scenic vistas and then through dry hammock and finally through dark undergrowth (that was alive with chirping birds, including one tree with five Common Grackles) and back along a second, smaller lake to the trailhead. I did the loop twice. So five miles down, and another 95 miles to go. See my earlier post on my trekking goal.
When riding at West Delray park it can get tricky as you take the second half of the loop. Bikers have to ride along a sandy Jeep trail for a stretch and then cross over onto the second half of the loop, which is where the technical singletrack awaits. When parking at West Delray Regional Park, use the second parking lot and look for the blue sign that reads Mountain Bike Rules and the nearby trailhead.