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John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

North Palm Beach, Florida

Contact Information
10900 S.R. 703 (A1A)
North Palm Beach, 33408
(561) 624-6950

MacArthur Beach is also a prime nesting area for sea turtles. Large numbers of loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles nest in the park from early May through late August. Inquire about Ranger-led walks to search for nesting loggerheads in June and July. Marine life is abundant along the offshore reefs and rock outcroppings within the park. These spectacular natural features, easily accessible from shore, make snorkeling a popular activity in the shallow waters.

Because it is a natural barrier island, the park also protects the mainland from harsh ocean storms. Shifting beach sands absorb wind and wave energy.

To keep the area as natural as possible, roads and structures were designed around rare trees and other plants. Non-native species, such as Australian pine and Brazilian pepper, are removed.

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Driving Directions
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.

Park Activities

The park has approximately 1.8 miles of undeveloped, pristine, natural beach. The beach is accessible by four, dune crossovers. Restrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers and drinking water are available near the beach. The main crossover provides ADA-accessible ramps to the beach. Depending on sea conditions, snorkeling, swimming, surfing and, of course, sunbathing are available on the beach. No lifeguards are stationed at the beach.

Bird Watching and Wildlife Viewing
The park is a popular location for observing a variety of wildlife including Roseate Spoonbills, Ospreys, Herons and many other birds. Manatees, sea turtles, raccoons and other animals are also occasionally observed at the park. Park Rangers conduct bird walks and turtle walks on a scheduled basis. Contact the Nature Center for dates and details.

Saltwater fishing is available at several areas of the park. Anglers may fish in the lagoon by wading, kayaking, canoeing or from the shore. Fishing from the pedestrian crossover is not permitted. Fishing is allowed at the beach (in non-swimming areas) and from Burnt Bridge on U.S. A1A. Non-residents, and those fishing from boats, may need a saltwater fishing license. Please check at the Ranger Station or Nature Center for details.

Kayaking & Canoeing
Park visitors have several ways of exploring the estuary and Lake Worth Lagoon by kayak or canoe. Every day, during high tide (weather permitting), there is a ranger-led, two-hour kayak trip to Munyon Island. Single and double kayaks are available and are included in the price of the trip. Please contact the Ranger Station for prices, times and details. Otherwise, visitors may rent single and double kayaks by the hour to explore the park estuary. Please contact the Nature Center for additional details. There is also a kayak and canoe launch in the park for visitors who wish to bring and use their own kayak or canoe.

Nature Center
The William T. Kirby Nature Center is the showcase of the park. Inside, you will find a theatre with video presentations. There is also an exhibit hall with aquariums containing fish, sea turtles and other marine life, snakes, and a number of static exhibits explaining the natural and cultural history of the area. A small gift shop is located there as well. Outside the Nature Center are a covered amphitheater and a picnic pavilion. Restrooms, water fountains and snack machines are located close to the Nature Center. The Nature Center is open daily, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Nature Trails
Three nature trails are available at the park.

The Richard Weinstein Satinleaf Nature Trail winds through a mixed maritime hammock comprised of 60-70% tropical plant species. Hammocks are forested areas that are slightly higher than the surrounding land.

The Dune Trail begins and parallels the beach on the backside of the primary dune. The trail winds through a coastal hammock consisting of mixed temperate and subtropical trees.

Near the Nature Center, there is a Butterfly Garden with a trail winding through it. All three of our trails have guide maps that list the various species of plants and trees that may be encountered.

The park has 2 picnic pavilions. 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. The charge to rent one of these pavilions is $100.00 per day.

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Close to our beach are worm reefs. These reefs have a number of tropical fish and other marine wildlife. The reefs are accessible from the beach for S.C.U.B.A. divers and snorkelers. Florida law requires that a Diver Down flag must be displayed when diving or snorkeling.

Swimming is a very popular activity at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. The conditions of the sea may vary each day. As there are no lifeguards, swimmers are urged to exercise caution while in the water.