Halloween hikes: the Creepy Critter Trail and the Living ‘Dead Forest’

The Historic Jupiter Indiantown Trail has a new name this month: The Creepy Critter Trail.

The Historic Jupiter Indiantown Trail has a new name this month: The Creepy Critter Trail.

The Historic Jupiter Indiantown Trail has a new name this month: The Creepy Critter Trail.

To celebrate Halloween, the 2.1-mile trail at the Cypress Creek Natural Area in Jupiter is decorated with temporary displays about “some of the creepier species found on this site,’’ according to a sign at the entrance.

Along the way are 10 signs, fastened to the split-rail fence, telling about critters that roam the area. Among them are old-school Halloween favorites — bats, owls, vultures and rats.

But there also some unusual ones such as Goatsuckers (night birds that prey upon insects), the Jagged Ambush Bug (a “predator” with “large raptorial front legs”) and the Two-toed Amphiuma (a snake-like a salamander).2222

And the Creepy Critter Trail in October wouldn’t be complete without the Halloween Pennant, a dragon-fly believed to have gotten its name from it orange yellow wings.

“I picked the ten creepy critters because I have seen them or evidence of them at the Cypress Creek Natural area,” said the man behind the Creepy Critter Trail — David Witmer, an environmental analyst with Palm Beach County’s Environmental Resources Management department.

“My favorite is the ambush bug. When I first saw one, I felt like a kid again. It is definitely one of the creepier things I have seen.”

The trail runs from the parking lot at 10035 Indiantown Road and runs west to Mack Dairy Road. The entrance to the parking lot is on the north side of Indiantown Road, opposite of the traffic light at Jupiter Farms Road.

There is no charge for access. bats

This is the first year  ERM has hosted a creepy critter trail. And it is currently only at Cypress Creek.

But Witmer has another Halloween-themed adventure planned for later this month — he’s calling it “the Hike of the Living ‘Dead Forest.”’

Witmer will lead the 2-mile hike along a restored wetland in the Loxahatchee Slough Natural area on Oct. 28.

“The area we will be visiting was a monoculture of melaleuca trees that has been restored to wetland habitat,” he said.

“The dead melaleuca snags now are great bird perches, so we always see a lot of wildlife in the area.”

The hike on Oct. 28 will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Sandhill Crane Access Park, 8175 PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens. The parking lot is on the northeast corner of PGA and the C-18 canal.

There is no charge. Anyone interested can RSVP by calling ERM at 561 233-2400.

http://projects.mypalmbeachpost.com/halloween/

 

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