Okay, I was at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center today for a Special Olympics event, and, well...it's nice. I don't know anything about horse culture, but people in the know told me it's quite the rage. There's a covered riding arena, an "obstacle" course (I don't know what it's really called), and what seem to be two buildings of stables. So yeah, it's a fine equestrian place, but even just looking outside that area today, I see what could have been. So sad for the general public.
Frankly, we don't know what in the hell happened here. Before the park ever opened, the huge "Cholee Park" sign was taken down. Now, the "park" is open and has a mall-style sign that reads "Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center". And we will let you know now: if you don't have a horse with you, don't bother coming here. As mentioned in our 2005 article on what was then called "Cholee Park" (originally "Whispering Pines State Park") there is an amphitheater - although now it's only for horse events. And forget about any of the other amenities that were mentioned for the defunct-prior-to-opening Cholee Park. There are no canoe rentals or picnic areas or any sort of wetlands that can be explored (as originally shown on the County's web site and cited in media articles). There are two things here: an amphitheater for horses only, on the west side, while the east side sports signs every 500 feet reminding us that the park is "for equestrian use only".
There is nothing available for the general public at "Jim Brandon Equestrian Center". If you are an equestrian, we really don't even know what is available in the park. There was no one there when we visited and no signing indicating amenities.
We will leave our 2005 article up to show what was originally planned for this area. What an incredible disappointment.
For "the rest of us", Okeeheelee Park is located directly across the street from the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center Cholee Park Okeeheelee Park South Whispering Pines State Park.
Our Original Article From 2005
Cholee Park isn't open yet, but when it finally is, it will be host to an astonishing number of attractions and activities. Located on nearly 670 acres of the former Whispering Pines State Park in central Palm Beach County, Cholee Park is structured around the natural wetland areas and water systems; canoe rentals will allow the visitors to explore them up close. Also planned is an enormous equestrian center including stables, and riding and practice rings. Established equestrian trails in the area are being revamped for a grand re-opening. Camping, both primitive and more "civilized", will be available, and there is planned an ampitheater for live entertainment. A mountain biking trail already exists on the land, and is currently open to the public. Word has it that Mounts Botanical Garden (currently located near the Palm Beach International Airport) will occupy 100 acres of Cholee Park.
Not to be overlooked is the variety of wildlife and native habitat that is already there, soon to be open to the public.
Keep checking back for updates - we'll let you know when Cholee Park is ready for you
Comments: What a waste of parks space
Location:7500 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach FL 33413
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