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Sweetbay Natural Area
sweetbay natual area
sweetbay natual area
sweetbay natual area
sweetbay natual area

12560 Aviation Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens


Sweetbay Natural Area has nearly 1,100 acres of pinelands and wetlands bordering the North County General Aviation Airport in western Palm Beach County. Despite the impressive spread, the opportunities for hiking are rather limited. There is one, short, accessible trail and that's it. The official website for the area says there is a natural surface trail, but the trail guide for the site contradicts that and we didn't see another trail during our several visit. However, Sweetbay is home to a year-round population of Bachman's sparrows and is relatively close to several other preserves.

The landscape for the most part is open pines — slash pines — and meadows punctuated by a few hardwood hammocks called bayheads, with sweetbay the dominant species. Grasses and saw palmetto dominate the understory, with partridge pea, tenangle pipewort and carolina bloodroot sprinkled through.

The site is divided into two sections, with all the public facilities at the western tract off Aviation Boulevard. There is a parking lot, information kiosk and an accessible hiking trail that splits in two — one fork leads to a covered observation deck and the other to a loop. There's no drinking water or restrooms on site. The entrance is along Aviation Boulevard, a short distance from the Beeline Highway. Note: the map below is for the airport; you'll Sweetbay well before the airport itself.

More Resources for Sweetbay Natural Area
      Great Florida Birding Trail
Photo Gallery for Sweetbay Natural Area
bloodroot st. john's wort
everglades morning glory tenangle pipewort grasshopper
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.