Riding through the tall grass at the beginning of West Delray Park’s trail loop, I felt like Hemingway hiking into the reeds in Africa’s safari.
An hour before sunset, I pedaled leisurely along the singletrack, a few butterflies and a Scrub Jay darting across my path. The tall sawgrass and weeds have grown even taller during the past month, giving this stretch of trail a green-hallway feel. At some points the grass matched my six-foot height. I stopped at .2 miles, enjoying the view from a small ridge that overlooks the lake, which I call “Cat-tail Lake.” (Did I mention this was a leisurely ride?)
West Delray Regional Park is usually quiet. I’ve only seen a few fishermen and one other biker the half-dozen times I’ve been out to this 313-acre nature preserve. This serenity allows one to encounter several species of birds, many of which can be seen at Cat-tail Lake. I’ve seen Blue Herons, Cattle Egret, Ibis, Scrubjay, and the ever-present Anhinga, or snakebird.
The park is all the way west at the end of Atlantic Avenue in Delray, it borders Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and the eastern edge of the Everglades. Thanks to the owner of Bicycle Lab for telling me about this sweet MBT loop. West Delray Regional Park is a Palm Beach County Park, and the group Florida Off Road Bicycling Enthusiasts, FORCE, built and maintains the 2.3-mile biking trail (along with several other cut-through trails).
The no-see-ums were present, especially along the lake, but not too vicious.