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USA Parks
Florida
Southeast Region
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK
JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK
16450 SE Federal Hwy
Hobe Sound, Florida   33455

Phone: 772-546-2771
Reservations: 772-546-2771
Located just south of Stuart, this park teems with wildlife in 13 natural communities, including sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, mangroves, and river swamps. The Loxahatchee River, Florida's first federally designated Wild and Scenic River, runs through the park. Ranger-guided tours of the 1930s pioneer homestead of Trapper Nelson are available year-round. Visitors can enjoy paved and off-road biking, equestrian, and hiking trails. Boating, canoeing, and kayaking along the river are also great ways to see the park. Anglers can catch freshwater fish along the riverbank or from a boat. The park offers two full-facility campgrounds and a youth/group primitive campground. Visitors can arrange boat tours of the river and rent canoes, kayaks, and motorboats by calling (561) 746-1466. Located 12 miles south of Stuart on U.S. 1.
Nature of the Area
Many species of wildlife may be observed at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, including deer, raccoons, foxes, otters, bobcats, and more. Alligators are commonly seen, as are turtles along the river. Threatened and endangered species include Florida scrub-jays, gopher tortoises, manatees, and Eastern indigo snakes. Over 140 species of birds have been identified here, making Jonathan Dickinson a premier birding destination.
History of the Area
The Loxahatchee River, named a National Wild and Scenic River in 1985, winds its way through the park, passing under a canopy of centuries-old cypress trees. The river has a timeless beauty all its own, "possessing remarkable ecological and recreational values which are unique in the United States."

Legends are nothing new to the east coast of Florida. In 1696, a Quaker merchant named Jonathan Dickinson shipwrecked off the coast in the area of Hobe Sound. Dickinson, his family and other survivors, made an arduous journey along the coast to St. Augustine. His journal, describing encounters with Native Americans and Spanish settlers, gives valuable information about life in early Florida.

The 25-passenger Loxahatchee Queen II takes visitors up the Loxahatchee River to the pioneer homesite of Trapper Nelson. Nelson came to the area in the 1930s and lived off the land by trapping and selling furs. He quickly became famous as the "Wildman of the Loxahatchee." After his death in 1968, the state acquired his land, preserving his home and grounds for future generations to enjoy.

During World War II, the United States Army operated a top-secret radar training school here, named Camp Murphy. The technology of radar was in its infancy, and the men that were trained here were sent out around the world. Over 1,000 school and support buildings, speedily constructed and heavily camouflaged, became home to over 6,000 soldiers and officers. Yet after only two years of operation, in November of 1944 Camp Murphy was deactivated.

Following the deactivation, the property was transferred on June 9, 1947, from the U.S. government to the State of Florida for a new state park. Jonathan Dickinson State Park was opened to the public in 1950.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bike Trailsyes
 Bridle Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
CampingWater/Electric Sitesyes
 Full Hookup Sitesyes
WinterActivitiesyes
Cabins
Twelve rental cabins are available, near the Loxahatchee. There are three different styles of cabins, and all come complete except for bed and bath linens. Call the concession at 561-746-1466 for information and reservations.
Camping
Two family campgrounds are to be found at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Pine Grove Campground, with 90 sites, is located near the ranger station in the east part of the park. The River Campground is about four miles from the park entrance, near the Loxahatchee River. It has 45 sites. Both campgrounds have large, tiled bathhouses with hot-water showers, and sites with water, electric, table and grill. There is a dump station in each campground.

Primitive Camping

Two backpack camps are available on segments of the Florida Trail. One is nine miles out along the trail, and the other is 12 miles out. A pitcher pump is located near each camp; WATER MUST BE TREATED. Overnight trips to these sites must begin by certain specified times of the day; call the ranger station at 772-546-2771 for information and reservations.

Youth Camping

The park has three youth group sites, for up to 30 persons each. Each site is equipped with tables and a fire circle, and a composting toilet. There is no water in this area; the closest potable water is about a mile away at the picnic area.
Accommodation Availability Calendars
Swimming
A beautiful sandy swimming beach is available on the shores of the Loxahatchee River. No lifeguards are present, so please exercise due caution. It is adjacent to the reservable Loxahatchee picnic pavilion, and a new, modern bathhouse with outdoor shower. Please call for current swimming conditions.
Canoeing
The park's Visitor Services Provider offers canoe and kayak rentals. Please call (561) 746-1466 for current rates and rental information.
Boating
Boat Ramp

A newly rebuilt boat launch ramp is available on the Loxahatchee River. The Loxahatchee eventually leads to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. Please observe the "idle speed" limit on the river within the park.

Boat Tours

The 44-passenger Loxahatchee Queen II takes visitors on a two-hour tour of the river, with a stop at the restored camp of Trapper Nelson, the "Wildman of the Loxahatchee." At the site, park staff lead visitors around the grounds and buildings of a true Florida original, who made his living off the land as a trapper and fur trader. Once fame caught up with Trapper however, he evolved himself and his home into one of the area's first tourist attractions, "Trapper's Zoo and Jungle Gardens." Trapper's unsolved death in 1968 gives a fitting sense of mystery to the site. Trapper's is open Wednesday through Sunday, and is accessible only by private canoe or boat or by the concession's tour boat. Call the park concession at 561-746-1466 for information on times and prices for the Loxahatchee Queen II.

Boating

The Loxahatchee is famous throughout the state for canoeing and kayaking. The upper river winds its way under a canopy of centuries-old cypress trees, giving a real back-in-time experience. On the lower section, the river becomes a mangrove-lined estuary, with ample bird life along its shores. In 1985, the Loxahatchee was designated as Florida's first "National Wild & Scenic River." The park concession offers rental canoes, kayaks, and motorboats. Please observe the "idle speed" limit on the river within the park.


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Picnicking
A large picnic area is found on the shores of the Loxahatchee, with dozens of picnic tables and grills. Four picnic pavilions are found here, and three are reservable for a fee. Call the ranger station at 772-546-2771 for reservations. One pavilion is left for first-come, first-served, and the other three may be similarly used if they have not been reserved. The concession store is located here, with drinks, snacks, tour boat tickets, and canoe rentals. Two nature trails start here, and a children's playground is centrally located.
Trails
Eight miles of horse trail start at the Eaglesview area, for those trailering their own horses into the park. Trail maps are available at the ranger station. A five-site, full facility campground is available for those wishing to camp with their horses. Horses must be tethered overnight to the tieout posts provided, or confined in sturdy portable pens. Portable electric fencing or hobbling is not permitted.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 14 Old Florida a must see
The park has a vast eco system. From sand dunes on the east to the marsh and mangroves on the west. The cabins allow a wonderful camping experience for the heat of the summer and give you ample time to enjoy the park during the day and then the amazing view in the evening sky. We have spotted many animals; deer, hogs, tourtisues, squirls, bats, woodpeckers, and other birds we did not know the names of. The park has a nice playground and wonderful rental items from boats, to canoes and kayaks, the guided river tour is a plus as it takes up thru the winding river to an amazing landmark of old florida. trapper nelsons camp. As you come into the park make sure to ask for the audio tour. It is another amazing free feature where you can learn as you drive in the ac:) amazing facts and the kids enjoyed the sound effects as well as the facts we got to learn and discuss along the way. For those of you with bikes, there is a lovely trail for you to enjoy and then the more edge of the bikers they even have a mountian biking lesson trail with many options to work your skills on. A great park for the whole family or a lovers getaway.


Pets
Pet camping is available at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Pets must be confined, leashed (not to exceed six feet in length) or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Tethered pets must not be left unattended for more than 30 minutes. Quiet hours must be observed from 11:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. Pet owners must pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles. Florida law requires that pets be vaccinated against rabies. Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed to remain in the park. Non-furbearing pets, such as reptiles, birds, or fish must be confined or under the physical control of the owner. Some animals may be prohibited on park property. Failure to abide by these rules may result in the camper being asked to board the pet outside the park or to leave the campground.
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Directions
To Jonathan Dickinson State Park from the southOn I-95 - take Exit 87A - go east on Indiantown Road to US 1. Turn left (north) on US 1. Jonathan Dickinson is 5 miles on your left.

On Florida Turnpike - take Exit 116 (Jupiter). Go east on Indiantown Road to US 1. Turn left (north) on US 1. Jonathan Dickinson is 5 miles on your left.

To Jonathan Dickinson State Park from the northOn I-95 - take Exit 96 - go east on Bridge Road to US 1. Turn right (south) on US 1. Jonathan Dickinson is 3 miles on your right.

On Florida Turnpike - take Exit 116 (Jupiter). Go east on Indiantown Road to US 1. Turn left (north) on US 1. Jonathan Dickinson is 5 miles on your left.

USA Parks
Florida
Southeast Region
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
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