Atop one of the higher elevations in Boca Raton, Serenoa Glade Preserve is a rare undeveloped piece of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge, featuring a transition zone from scrub habitat on the Atlantic Ocean side to pine flatwoods on the Everglades side. What Everglades, you say? Once upon a time, before the early 1900s, a sheet flow of water passed through gaps in the ridge to reach the sea. This land was slated to become yet another office complex near Florida Atlantic University, and was preserved just in time by the city of Boca Raton. The preserve’s name is a nod to the scientific name for saw palmetto, serenoa repens.
Location: Boca Raton
Length: 0.5 mile
Lat-Long: 26.364067, -80.108717
Fees / Permits: free
Bug factor: low
Restroom: at George Snow Park
Open 8 AM to sunset. The trailhead is inside George Snow Park, which has picnic tables, playground, basketball, and tennis courts.
From I-95, take Glades Rd 0.5 mi east. Turn south on NW 10th Ave, then west on NW 15th Street to the entrance to George Snow Park on the right. Park and head back towards the tennis courts to find the entrance to Serona Glade Preserve hidden in the trees.
Your hike starts on the northeast side of George Snow Park, heading up the sidewalk path to a kiosk with map and interpretive information, marking the beginning of the loop. Half of the loop is paved (accessible to wheelchairs), half earthen, as you meander through scrub and pine flatwoods up and over the Atlantic Coast Ridge. Live oaks cast plenty of shade. After you round the corner past marker 4, the wide earthen footpath takes off to the left through the scrub through saw palmetto and wiregrass, returning to the main loop after 0.2 miles.