John C. and Mariana Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA), Pal-Mar East and Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area
You could nickname the Jones/Hungryland WEA a "sportsman's paradise." Like to hunt? The FWC manages the area as a "wildlife and environmental area," which means they oversee a number of quota hunts and a small game season during the fall. Hogs are abundant. Decent-sized bucks have been harvested, but it can be a challenge to bag one. Be prepared to wade through up to three feet of water to find a good spot to set up your tree stand.
Like to fish? You've come to the right place. An extensive canal network, built during land speculation days, is a haven for pan fish. There also are a few old borrow pits that hold some large bass. You can savor a "cracker" style meal just talking about it. But that's not how the area got its name. The Seminole Indians used the region as a refuge during the Seminole Indian War of 1835, but living off the land quickly proved difficult. Hundreds of starving Indians were captured and sent to Oklahoma. The area became known as "The Hungryland."
The more passive outdoor enthusiast can take advantage of several miles of established, multi-use trails for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. Some are wet, so be prepared. Trail use is best during the drier, winter months. In addition, the canal levees provide great hiking, bicycling and horseback riding opportunities. The area is great for observing wildlife. Alligators, otters, bobcats, deer, hogs, and several species of wading birds and hawks are commonly seen.
Also known as Nine Gems, the Pal-Mar East site is the latest addition to Jones/Hungryland WEA. Located directly across County Road 711 from the original recreation site, Pal-Mar East is made up of 320 acres of dedicated state lands and 3,000 acres purchased jointly by Martin County and the South Florida Water Management District.
Pal-Mar East features approximately 7 miles of horseback riding and hiking trails. Access to the site is from County Road 711. The District and Martin County have developed an elaborate parking trailhead at the site for both horse trailers and regular vehicles.
Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area
The Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area, which is about 7 miles south of the Hungryland, is part of the headwaters of the Loxahatchee River. A portion of the 72-mile Ocean to Lake Trail comes through here. Contrasts along the trail add interest to a long walk through pine flatwoods and vast areas of restored wetlands and uplands. In spots, trails on higher ground, snug with thick, tall vegetation, abruptly open into wide-angle vistas of marsh. Palm Beach County manages the Loxahatchee Slough.
For more information:
- For Loxahatchee Slough, call the county Department of Environmental Resources Management at (561) 233-2400.
- For Jones/Hungryland, call (561) 625-5122.
Other Local Recreational Sites
In addition to the FWC-managed John C. and Mariana Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area in Martin County, Palm Beach County owns and manages the Hungryland Slough Natural Area on the south side of S.R. 710 (Bee Line Highway), immediately east of the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area. Additional natural areas in the vicinity are the Sweetbay Natural Area, Palm Beach County (561) 233-2400; and the Grassy Waters Preserve, which has a popular nature center, City of West Palm Beach (561) 627-8831.
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.
- Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA):
- From West Palm Beach, take S.R. 710 (the Bee Line Highway) north to C.R. 711 (Pratt-Whitney Road). Go north on C.R. 711. Proceed through the intersection at S.R. 706 (Indiantown Road). The main gate is on the west side of C.R. 711, 1 1/2 miles north of S.R. 706. A brochure box is located inside the gate with information about the area.
- From Jupiter, take S.R. 706 (Indiantown Road) west for about 9 miles from I-95 to C.R. 711. Head north on C.R. 711 for 1 to 2 miles.
- Loxahatchee Slough:
From West Palm Beach, take S.R. 710 (the Bee Line Highway) north to the intersection with PGA Boulevard. (S.R. 786). Access will be on your right.