Allapattah comes from the Seminole Indian word for alligator. But don't let the land's namesake keep you from visiting this predominantly wet flatwoods expanse. By now you probably envision the property as a swampy, no-man's land teeming with alligators. But to the contrary, the land is inviting.
The Allapattah hiking and bicycling trailhead on County Road 714 was was developed in partnership with Martin County. Visitors may hike and bike along a 1.5-mile long, user-friendly shellrock road leading to a panoramic open vista of marsh that wading birds frequent. You might see an alligator or two, but they are not here in great numbers. After the sun sets, sightings of another kind are much more common – the dark night sky in this rural area makes conditions ideal for stargazing.
On your way, you'll notice lots of open pasture that once was wet flatwoods until it was drained decades ago for cattle grazing. These open areas are targeted for extensive restoration by filling in the old drainage ditches to bring back the wetland vegetation and by replanting thousands of pines.
You can also enjoy the land on separate trails by horseback. In addition, the area is open for hunting at certain times of the year. Whatever way you choose to explore, be sure to bring a picnic lunch and take a relaxing break.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages hunting on SFWMD lands. Please visit www.myfwc.com regarding current hunt dates, regulations and directions to check stations to ensure the most accurate and latest information.
- From West Palm Beach: Take S.R. 710 (the Beeline) north through Indiantown. About one mile north of Indiantown take a right at C.R. 609. Go six miles to C.R. 714. Take a right on C.R. 714 and the entrance with the gated shellrock road will be on your left in a little over a mile.
Or, stay on C.R. 609 going north. Go through the intersection at C.R. 714 for about two miles and the north entrance will be on your right.
- From Stuart: Take C.R. 714 west for about 15 miles. The gated shellrock road entrance will be on your right.