Riverbend is a beautiful park with lots of recreation opportunities in the northern section of Palm Beach County. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, walking, and historical tours are enough to fill a day or two easily. I know I spend a lot of time biking there and enjoy the diverse trails, wildlife and natural scenery.
Like most county parks, it closed at sunset, but last night we enjoyed a special treat: a moonlight bike ride through the park sponsored by the Palm Beach County Parks and Rec dept. There were about 30 cyclists of varying ages and bicycles along for the ride. We split into three groups and each group was led by a ranger.
Periodically the ranger, who was also a naturalist, would stop and talk about something unique to the area. At one point, he shined his light into the water to show us an alligator. That was the extent of the wildlife I saw. I’m sure there was plenty I didn’t see.
Since it’s just a casual ride, it was fun to meet new people and share stories as we rode. With a large group, we were spread out along the trail and all you’d see ahead is the blinking rear light of the cyclist in front of you. That’s fine when the trail is straight, but when the trail turns or forks and you lose sight, it got challenging.
At one point I had fallen back to talk with someone. We rounded the corner and there weren’t any lights. The lady in front of me didn’t see which way the group went either. So here were a few of us cyclists at junction with 3 different ways to go and it’s dark. We headed straight for a few yards, but didn’t see anyone, so we went back to the trail junction. One gentleman read the map and we embarked on a trail that would lead toward the campfire.
Just a few minutes later we caught up with the group; they had only made a loop so by turning around, we just caught right back up. That was convenient!!
It was just a few more minutes of riding till we reached a spot with a campfire and smores. Now this is my kind of bike ride!! It was a good chance to get off the bike, enjoy some smores and actually see the people I had been talking with on the ride.
As we headed back toward the entrance of the park, the moon was just peeking through the clouds. The trail led by a lake so it was a perfect photo op to catch the moon as it reflected off the lake.
A fun, easy ride, nice people, beautiful park, and smores, what’s not to like. The good news is this ride is held on a regular basis and the next one is scheduled for Dec.28th.
Even if you’ve visited Riverbend Park before, you should enjoy the Moonlight Bike Ride. Call ahead to reserve your spot; It’s only $5 and includes the smores. You can bring a bike or call ahead and rent one. If you bring your own, it is recommended to bring a headlight and taillight.
For more information on Riverbend park: http://www.pbcgov.com/parks/locations/riverbend.htm
For a calendar of events: http://pbcgov.mhsoftware.com/
p.s. I included some day time shots so you can see just how pretty it is. Every corner brings something new.