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Solid Waste Authority — Greenway Trails System
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5920 N. Jog Road
West Palm Beach

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If you live in Palm Beach County, there's a pretty good chance that your garbage ends up here at the Solid Waste Authority's headquarters in West Palm Beach. In plain language, this is a dump, but an extraordinary dump, with a network of four nature trails and 300 acres of preserve incorporated into the complex. Three of the trails connect with the 16-mile long Owahee Trail that borders West Palm Beach's prestine Grassy Waters Preserve. The four trails meander through wet prairies, moist pinelands, wet pinelands, cypress swamps and along open-water Lake Altman. A landfill sits across Jog Road from the preserve but never do you get an untoward wiff or unsightly scene.

All told, the trail network covers about four miles, plus 1.8 miles of the neighboring Owahee Trail, plenty for an afternoon's exploration. The trails are wide and easy walking. In places, there are boardwalks that take hikers through wet places without them having to get their feet wet. There are also overlooks in strategically placed spots. There are benches and interpretive signs throughout and designated parking at the headquarters. The benches and boardwalks are made of recycled plastic; the trails are recycled concrete.

We spotted snail kites, cardinals, woodpeckers and bluejays during our walk, plus herons and egrets along Lake Altman. A variety of warblers were spotted as well. With some luck, you might spot a bald eagle, river otter, white-tailed deer or bobcat. There are carnivorous flowers, air plants and a variety of ferns.

 
 
 
 
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