El Rio Trail


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El Rio Trail Facts

States: Florida
Counties: Palm Beach
Length: 4.7 miles
Trail end points: Congress Ave. and Glades Road/FL 808 (Boca Raton)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6264961
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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El Rio Trail Description

The El Rio Trail parallels the canal of the same name, through Boca Raton from Glades Road/SR 808 north to Congress Ave. An underpass eliminates crossing NW 51st Street/SR 794/Yamato Road and takes you to the Tri-Rail station without having to cross the road and railroad.

Watch for turtles, great blue herons, owls, butterflies and iguanas along the canal. You can also bring a fishing pole and drop a line. In addition, bike lockers are available along the trail for those who want to hop on the Tri-Rail or Palm Tran. 

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the Florida Atlantic University's guest parking area, which is a short walk to the trailhead at its southern terminus.

El Rio Trail Reviews

I love this trail and feel really safe while running it. The only advise I could give is to bring water, as the sections of open road really leave you exposed to the sun. There are different entry points on to the trail and the markers are visible.

All the sections of the trail are completed, the new section under Yamato Road is really nicely done and it makes the whole experience so much safer. I used to ride only the South half of the trail because of the busy Yamato Road crossing but now I see lots of people taking advantage of the full trail, including families with young riders. I like to ride El Rio when I don't want to deal with auto traffic and now I can enjoy a longer ride.

Hi I just biked the trail today and the segment at Yamato and near trirail that wasn’t completed - as stated in previous posts- is very nearly completed. In fact , I biked it through the couple barrels that were there warning Not to pass. But it is paved. I passed fine. I assume it’s awaiting final inspection so that’s why it’s not officially open. But overall trail in general is smooth to bike on, and I enjoy the views along the way.


Ride this trail every morning. On a warm day after a cool night, lots of birds and big iguanas north of Yamato. The Yamato crossing was precarious but by observation the tunnel under the road seems finished (still some barrels there on Mar 18). This will make the almost 5 mile run very nice. I'd park at Costco, go around the back and catch the beginning (north end).

We got really frustrated driving around the University looking for guest parking and almost gave up. Ended up parking across Glades in a plaza. The instructions on how to cross Yamato are not clear at all. The trail information suggest you go toward the Boca train station and then you have to figure it out. Actually the only way to cross the train tracks is to use the station elevator and then there is more confusion again. Clearer instructions would be appreciated.

It is a nice trail along the canal with plenty of wildlife activity. The iguanas are quite entertaining. We enjoyed it and needed to let off some steam after the parking fiasco.

Nice ride, lots of creatures to see out and about. Will be perfect when the Yamato crossing is done, thats a bit precarious. Where is the Guest Parking at FAU? We only saw meters (is it that??) and permit parking.

An excellent ride from the FAU campus to Congress Ave near Costco. Crossing the railroad tracks/ Yamato Rd. was not a problem. The first part from the FAU campus is the most beautiful section along the EL Rio Canal.

This trail is made of a mix of asphalt concrete and coral I was hoping it was real asphalt because this stuff has been tearing up my shoes and hurting my knees.

I was a bit disappointed by the trail (pavement needs work), but the abundance of iguanas bring this from a 3 star to a 4 star experience

Found the El Rio a month or so ago. From Delray it makes a great "end of circuit" after A-1-A (at George Bush) to either Spanish River or Palmetto Park. There is no access across Glades Road/Inter-Coastal.

The best part is that it is not far and level (but there is always traffic on these streets.

El Rio is a great nature trail and the new underpass at Spanish River is not a distraction.

My most recent circuit was a mere 24.6 miles -- and I am only a novice rider! Took just over 3 hours. Very refreshing!

Excellent, scenic trail.

During construction of a new interchange on I-95 and Spanish River Road, the trail is bisected by Yamato road. A tunnel is being built under Yamato Road, which when completed in 2017, should give an excellent continuous ride from Costco on Congress Avenue to FAU in Boca Raton without the present dangerous Yamato road crossing.

For now, to head South from the Tri-Rail station, one heads South from Yamato Road on the northbound side of the Tri-Rail station

I have ridden this trail many times while bike commuting to work. It is nicely maintained. Outside of the poorly thought out crossing at Yamato, this is a 5 star trail with access to FAU, Tri-Rail, multiple business parks and the T-Rex Trail which runs through the park at Spanish River. There is a nice figure 8 loop through Countess de Hoernle Park and Pondhawk Natural Area.

There is also an "L" shaped extension north of Congress that terminates back into Congress for an additional 0.9 miles of trail.

This is a nice north/south trail that is wide enough for multiple people side by side. Most of it is asphalt but a section at the north is concrete.

As noted by other reviews the trail was extended north from Clint Moore to Congress and this leg is very nice. If you look at Google Maps it will show this trail continuing north of Congress then making a left to connect with Congress again. This section not very wide and not well maintained and not recommended at all for those on inline skates.

Still absolutely love El Rio. City has extended N. of Clint Moore to Congress Ave right next to Costco. Easy connection to T-Rex Trail on west side of tracks, which can bring you further west and a connection to Patch Reef Trail...not a seemless connection YET, but hopefully in future. Still waiting for over/underpass to cross Yamato. This is desperately needed...especially with gas prices jacked up AGAIN and more people using bicycle as primary transportation form.
I urge all local cities to extend and/or construct new paths to make it seemless bike traveling. This week 2 teenagers died in 2 days while riding our congested FL roads. This needs to stop. Please make it safe(r) for us environmentally conscious who have decided to Dump da' Pump for ped transportation!

A nicely maintained trail, but with a few busy road crossings to contend with. Extensions connect to both the new trails in the Spanish river park, and the existing trail north of congress along the canal. Thanks to a new light on Congress Ave, the northern extension can easily followed to SW 21st,which connects to the trail on Old Germantown Rd. Combined with the park trails, this allows for a mostly vehicle free 14 mile ride, if ridden from one end and back.

Today (FEB 9, 2013) rode newly paved section which has extended this trail to the North. It's northern terminus is now at Congress Ave. Nice ride.

Trail was as expected, concrete and ran along a canal. There is evidence that the trail is going to be extended and a new cross walk with a light was installed on Congress. Unfortunately, my bike chain snapped halfway into my ride and I was unable to finish the entire trail. However, I did see at least 8 iguanas, a couple of turtles and birds. What surprised me most were the water fountains and benches along the trail. A great ride. I plan to go back and finish this trail once my bike chain is fixed.

My neighborhood is right on this trail, so I use it quite often. It is an extremely easy trail, extremely safe and beautiful. Trail runs along a canal where you can spot Iguanas sunning in midday, Anhingas (snakebirds) chilling, Oppossum ,Blue Herons and possible Black Racer snakes. Trail dumps you right at the Tri-Rail to support public transportation and there's also a separate trail on opposite side of the tracks called T-Rex Trail, which takes you back southbound, then westbound at Spanish river Blvd, where it leads you to the public library.
Only issue with trail is crossing Yamato Rd, as it is a deathwish attempting so. BUT the city has detailed that they are in the process of planning an over or underpass to cross in the near future. Also wish the trail could be extended further North and South to connect to other prime destinations. If so, I could easily turn cycling into my prime form of transportation. Get out and enjoy today!

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