I’ve generally been curious about the evolving path of the Ocean to Lake Trail ever since I backpacked it in 2004 on the first annual Ocean to Lake Hike. While in Palm Beach County last week I took some time to trace some of the route and find out where it’s gone.
Sweetbay Natural Area sits right in the flight path of the North County Airport off the Beeline north of PGA Blvd. Even with a map, it took a few tries to find this place, as its trailhead is not on the Beeline but on Airport Rd. The OTL enters the natural area and traverses its far northern perimeter. We went to the trailhead, which leads to a quarter-mile paved, wheelchair accessible path through the wet flatwoods, with an observation deck over a wet prairie. In summer, this spot will be ablaze with wildflowers; we saw a handful with late fall blooms. While it seems that the trailhead isn’t of much use for OTL hikers, it’s a nice stop to take in this typically wet habitat without getting your feet wet.