Ocean Ridge Hammock Park is a small jewel of a public beach and natural area in the middle of the Palm Beach metro area of south Florida. It encompasses 8.54 acres and is administered by the Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation Department.
This area is shoreline with access to and from the beach via walkways and boardwalks through a small mangrove forest that buffers the space from the busy urban area surrounding it. It’s a native habitat to several plant species including coral bean and east coast dune sunflower, and home to wildlife such as sea turtles, sanderlings, and Portuguese man o’ war. Sea turtle nesting season runs from March 1 – October 31. Disturbing turtles or their nest sites is illegal.
I visited this site in early May, 2017. I would never have found this awesome spot on my own – most of the visitors are locals, like my college roommate who brought me here. Despite being in the middle of an urban area that is home to more than a million people, we had this place almost entirely to ourselves on a weekday. There is a small but free parking lot (free parking being almost as much of a rarity as finding natural space in this area) across Hwy A1A that also has an outdoor shower. Park hours are sunrise to sunset. There are no lifeguards at this beach, but warning flags are visible to the south (purple is for man o’wars).
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