I may have found the final park area open to the public amid the closure of everything due to pandemic concerns. Seth Kaufman and I met at 7:30 am at the “trailhead.” We were fortunate in having a blanket of clouds over us. For this run, it’s an important element since there is no shade on this route.
We saw a few riders on mountain bikes heading up to the turnaround. Since Riverbend Park was closed, anyone heading all the way up near Indiantown Road could turn back or cross the footbridge and return on the other side of the canal. There’s a difference on that route, because there’s an offshoot from the canal heading due west only on the far side. So choosing that route means you have to add extra miles to run or ride to the end of that spur and return to the main trail.
I was glad to be out early, I should have taken a pair of sunglasses due to the bugs on the trail. Seth has been injured and not along for our group runs, it was good to chat and meetup with him. I was prepared for a 3 mile out and back run finishing at 6 miles. As we kept going, Seth suggested we continue to the Riverbend bridge and see what was on the other side. We did that, saying “Hi” to whomever we encountered either walking or riding. We saw a few of the girls that usually do the Jupiter beach road ride, Kathy Petrillo, Ami Reece and Carol McGrath. We also saw Perry Feyk and his wife riding. We only had a small segment of our run that experienced sun, the clouds were high and scattered enough to make a shady morning for us.
We finished at just before 9:30 am, having covered approximately 11 miles on the gravel road. My shoes were covered in light grey dust, guess what, the rest of me probably was also. Next time, I will also bring the hand carry water bottle and sunglasses to mitigate the dust and the bugs.