One of the best amenities that any local area provides is their parks. Many of them are free meaning it doesn’t cost anything to go to them. They all provide a variety of activities like biking, hiking and running trails. Picnic tables and BBQ pits. Playgrounds for the kids and most recently, many are starting to provide exercise equipment made to work outdoors.
The Boca Raton area probably provides the best parks in South Florida. They are kept immaculately clean, are very nature and fitness oriented and surprisingly enough, are hardly used!
Some are free to enter but my favorite ones, along their beaches can be costly. They can range from 16 to 24 dollars depending on the day of the week and vehicle size but for locals, they offer a yearly pass for only 55 dollars that gives you unlimited access. For more information on this, click here.
Spanish River Park…
My favorite of all these is Spanish River Park. Located off A1A just south of Spanish River Boulevard they are open from 8AM to sunset but you can get there earlier without paying a fee to catch the sunrise. On the east side is the Atlantic Ocean, on the west side the Intracoastal Waterway.
The park gets its name from a river that used to flow through the area named Spanish River. This river has been channeled out into the Intracoastal Waterway although the old river bed is still visible in some parts of the park along the intracoastal. There is also some pretty cool history about the famous Barefoot Mailmen…
The park consists of three large loops all interconnected with paved roads. There are nice biking and running trails through the park. You also have picnic pavilions of all sizes, volleyball courts, tons of BBQ grills and a large children’s playground. You get to the beach by going through large tunnels that go under A1A.
The park also spans a great part of the beach that is prime for sea turtle nesting from March through October. Volunteer patrols go up and down the beach around 5:30AM to spot new nests that may have been built overnight. These nests are tracked via physical signs as well as marked on a map with GPS coordinates. This is done just in case a hurricane hits the area and the physical markers are destroyed. It allows the volunteers to remark the spot the nest was located.
During certain hours of the morning and late afternoon, certain parts of the park you are allowed to bring your dogs with access to the beach, thus appropriately named Dog Beach. And the park even provides little poop bags to make sure that the beach is kept nice and clean!
Oceanside Beach Services is contracted out to provide beach chairs, lounge chairs and umbrella’s for beach goers at very reasonable prices either daily or with a yearly pass.
What I like most is outdoor exercise equipment found just before the northern entrance of the park along A1A. One can do a full body workout with a little imagination and it is frequently used by runners and bikers that travel up and down A1A.
What’s amazing about this park however, is that it is hardly used. Even on a holiday weekend, there are plenty of picnic areas and parking available. During a normal weekend it is about 25% full and on weekdays, you have the entire park to yourself.
So take advantage of your local city and county facilities. Get out to walk, bike, swim, run and have some fun as you strive to be Fit Forlife!