Running Trail

The “Peanut Island 24” course is extremely scenic, with nearly 360 degree views of the Lake Worth Lagoon that surrounds the island, plus the Atlantic Ocean, Palm Beach, Singer Island, the Riviera Beach waterfront and more. Then there are boats and fishermen, swimmers and campers, snorkelers and picnickers, bird life and native plantings—in short, very few dull moments! The “track” is USATF certified at 1.234 miles. Its entire length is lighted at night. The surface is 10 feet wide, and is primarily concrete pavers over sand. It is very even and entirely runnable. There is one gradual uphill section in the southwest area of the island after passing under a small bridge. Otherwise, the course is flat. Race headquarters is located on the eastern side of the island, as shown below. It is the primary location for all race-related activities: the race starting point where the timing mat will be placed, timing company gear and results board, full-time food/aid station and bathhouse. Tent camping will be permitted in the Park campground and in the grass here, as space allows.

 

 


Peanut Island & Lake Worth Lagoon:
History & Geography 101
Peanut Island is located in a portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway known as the Lake Worth Lagoon. This brackish estuary is 20 miles long and averages ½ mile wide and 6 feet deep. The Lagoon is an important resource that supports habitats such as seagrasses, oyster reefs, tidal flats, inshore reefs and mangroves. These habitats are crucial to the reproduction and survival of fish, shellfish, wading and migratory birds, manatees and sea turtles.

At the turn of the 20th century, Peanut Island was a submerged shallow area in the central part of Lake Worth, which at the time was a freshwater lake. The island was originally formed from material dredged to create the Lake Worth Inlet to the ocean. This material, combined with decades of inlet and waterway maintenance, formed the 79-acre “Inlet Island”. Because of a failed attempt to use the island as a terminal for shipping peanut oil, the island became known as “Peanut Island”.

In 2001 Palm Beach County and several partner agencies enhanced the island by creating native wetland and upland habitats, providing public access for recreation and creating the dredged material management area levee. The $15 million Peanut Island Environmental Enhancement Project, completed in 2005, is one of many projects to meet the objectives of the Lake Worth Lagoon Management Plan. During the project, 60 acres of invasive exotic vegetation were removed and replanted with maritime hammock species, including gumbo limbo, seagrape, cabbage palm, fiddlewood, firebrush, sea-lavender, railroad vine and East Coast dune sunflower. This hammock area is an important location for birds and wildlife and increases the diversity of species in Lake Worth Lagoon. It provides a lush, shady habitat for humans, too!

With their red roofs and clapboard walls, the historic Coast Guard station and boat house, placed in service in 1930, are reminders of a different way of life. The John F. Kennedy presidential bunker, built as an emergency facility during his presidency for his frequent visits to the Kennedy family compound in Palm Beach, is also a presence on the island. These structures are open to the public; entry fees apply.

For more information about the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative, an effort to create awareness of Palm Beach County’s largest estuary and coordinate activities to protect and enhance this valuable natural system, check out www.LWLI.org, or contact Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management at 561-233-2400.