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Southeast Region
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
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10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive
North Palm Beach, Florida   33408

Phone: 561-624-6950
A unique mixture of coastal and tropical hammock and mangrove forest, this barrier island provides a haven for several rare or endangered native tropical and coastal plant species. The park's Nature Center shows visitors why the park is a biological treasure. Visitors can swim, picnic, and surf at the beach; scuba diving and snorkeling are also popular activities. Birdwatchers can see herons, brown pelicans, terns, sandpipers, and gulls. Anglers can fish in the lagoon by wading, kayaking, or canoeing. They can also fish from non-swimming areas of the beach. Located in northern Palm Beach County, 2.8 miles south of the intersection of U.S. 1 and PGA Boulevard on A1A.
Nature of the Area
In addition to numerous species of shore and wading birds, the park is a prime nesting site for sea turtles. Large numbers of loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles nest from early May through late August.
History of the Area
The earliest evidence of human occupation of this area comes from artifacts recovered from "kitchen middens" located in the park. Native Americans who settled this area, gathered food from the ocean and lake. Fragments of bones, shell and pottery were discarded in refuse piles or "middens."

In the early 1900s, Munyon Island was famous for its lavish resort hotel, "The Hygeia." Built by Dr. James Munyon, the hotel was destroyed by fire in 1915. Munyon Island is not open to the public, but only accessible by boat.

The park is named after the previous property owner, John D. MacArthur, who wished to preserve it for future generations to enjoy. In the 1970s, after a university study convinced MacArthur that the property was a biological treasure, he donated a section for use as a public park. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation contributed additional funds to help develop the park and Nature Center. Facilities opened to the public in 1989.
Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES web page.
Visitors Center
The William T. Kirby Nature Center features displays depicting the park's natural communities and live animal exhibits. Visitors may also view a 15-minute video on the park. The Nature Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
1. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park offers a designated swimming area in the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Lifeguards are not present, so swim at your own risk.
3. Snorkeling is popular due to clear waters and abundant marine life.
4. Swimming near or around the rock reefs is prohibited for safety reasons.
5. Swimming during low tide reveals tidal pools with diverse sea creatures.
6. The park does not have any freshwater swimming options like lakes or pools.

Scuba Diving
Scuba diving and snorkeling are permitted. A "Diver Down" flag, for snorkelers and divers, is required by law and is available for rent at the Nature Center.
The park offers saltwater fishing from the shoreline or a kayak. Species include snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout.

Fishing is permitted on the lagoon side of Munyon Island where you can catch mangrove snapper and jack crevalle.

You might also encounter tarpon while casting your line in this beautiful coastal habitat.

Remember to bring your own bait as it's not available for purchase within the park boundaries.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is located near Hobe Sound, Jupiter and Lake Worth

There are 2 picnic pavilions and several picnic tables located throughout the park. The North Pavilion (more secluded) has 10 tables and accommodates approximately 80 people. It also has bathrooms, water and electricity. The Nature Center pavilion has 9 tables and accommodates approximately 72 people. Electricity is available. Bathrooms, snack machines and a water fountain are located nearby. Grills are also located at each pavilion for visitors to use.
- Satinleaf Trail: This is a 0.3-mile trail that takes hikers through lush vegetation and offers views of the park's diverse wildlife, including gopher tortoises.

- Dune Hammock Trail: A short but scenic route measuring about 0.4 miles in length; it winds its way around sand dunes covered with sea grapes and other coastal plants.

- Butterfly Garden Pathway: Not specifically for hiking, this pathway leads to an area where visitors can see various species of butterflies attracted by native flowering plants; no specific length given.

- Estuary & Mangrove Trails Loop: These trails combined form a loop approximately one mile long which provides stunning vistas over Lake Worth Lagoon estuary system as well as dense mangroves teeming with birdlife such as herons and egrets.

- North End Beach Access Boardwalks (North/South): Two boardwalk paths leading directly from parking areas to beachfront access points on either end of the Park's coastline stretch - distances not specified.

- William T Kirby Nature Center Paths : Several small pathways surrounding visitor center offering glimpses into local flora/fauna exhibits along interpretive signage detailing regional ecosystems' importance - exact lengths unknown due to their interconnected nature within facility grounds layout design scheme.
The park offers birdwatching opportunities with over 200 species of birds. Birders can spot migratory and resident species. The nature center provides binoculars for rent, guided tours are available too. Species include herons, egrets, gulls and ospreys among others.

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John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is located 2.8 miles south of the intersection of U.S.1 and PGA Blvd. on A1A in North Palm Beach.

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Florida State Parks