Updated: Jan 19, 2022
Canoe launch at the Grassy Waters Preserve
Photo by George Ostertag
Grassy Waters Preserve takes you through the Everglades for a refreshing and educational connection with nature during their Canoe Cruises. On this outing, you will learn about the history and ecology of the preserve and appreciate the beauty of the landscape and the animals within it.
Canoes are available as single- and double-seaters. The cruises last about 90 minutes.
Grassy Waters Preserve consists of 23 square miles of wetlands and is a vital source of water. Almost 150 years ago, Henry Flagler purchased approximately 100 square miles to supply water to West Palm Beach and Palm Beach. West Palm Beach bought the rest of the land years later, and it supplies fresh water for West Palm Beach, South Palm Beach and Palm Beach Island.
The Florida Legislature recognized this area’s importance in 1964 by establishing the Water Catchment Area with 19 square miles of special protection.
Although humans have greatly affected the Everglades, Grassy Waters Preserve remains almost untouched, a beautiful representation of what once was the northern Everglades watershed and the headwaters of the Loxahatchee River. This preservation is not only used by the community as a freshwater source, but it is also home to species such as the Everglades snail kite, the white-tailed deer, the white ibis, the great blue heron, the bobcat, the wood stork, the otter and, of course, the alligator.
The preserve offers trails of all difficulties, guided canoe and hiking programs, free field trips for schools and badge programs for Scouts.
The state Watershed Management Division closely monitors and manages the water to ensure the highest quality and provides educational resources for the community to understand this ecosystem’s importance.
The next Canoe Cruises are scheduled for Jan. 22 and 23 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and Jan. 29 and 30 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Click here for more information.