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Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Hobe Sound, Florida

Contact Information
16450 S.E. Federal Hwy.
Hobe Sound, 33455
(772) 546-2771 / Reservation: 1-800-326-3521

Close to 11,500 acres of land and river await the visitor to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Teeming with wildlife, the park offers camping, canoeing, hiking and bicycling, picnicking, fresh and saltwater fishing and guided tours of the Loxahatchee River.

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

Driving Directions
Jonathan Dickinson State Park is located 12 miles south of Stuart on U.S.1. Just follow the signs from I-95 (Exit 87A) or the Florida Turnpike (Exit 116).

Park Activities

Both paved and off-road bicycle trails are available. The paved trails run along the old roadbed of Old Dixie Highway, for about two miles. The Camp Murphy Off-road Bicycle Trail System is a nine-mile network of mountain bike trails, with loops rated for beginners all the way to “black diamond, experts only.”

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.

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.

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.

Campfire Circle
Campfire programs are given each Saturday evening, for overnight visitors, at the campfire circle. The circle is located in the southwest corner of the Pine Grove Campground. The time varies with the season; check with the ranger station. In addition, a ranger-guided nature walk starts each Sunday morning at 9:00 am, in the picnic area.

The concession store is located in the picnic area, and has limited camping and grocery items, drinks, snacks, and souvenirs. The store is where canoes, kayaks, and motorboats may be rented. Tickets for the tour boat are purchased there, and check-in and check-out for the cabins is also handled at the store.

Fishing in the Loxahatchee River varies from freshwater fishing in the upper river to saltwater angling as you approach the picnic area and boat ramp. There can be some overlap of species; it is possible to catch snook and snapper far upriver near Trapper’s, and largemouth bass as far down as the mouth of Kitching Creek. Be sure you have the appropriate license (or licenses) for the area and species you are fishing. Check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for more information. Freshwater fishing is also available in several of the ponds and lakes, mainly in the eastern and southeastern areas of the park.

Full Facility 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.

Horse 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.

Nature Trails
Four, scenic nature trails wind through the park, allowing visitors to explore the park’s various habitats. The Kitching Creek-Wilson Creek Trails start in the picnic area parking lot, and lead the visitor through pine flatwoods and along the creeks. The Kitching Creek portion is a self-guiding trail, with a brochure available. The Hobe Mountain Trail is a short, beautiful boardwalk that climbs up through the sand pine scrub to the observation tower, from which commanding views of the entire park and surrounding area may be had. The Sand Pine Scrub Nature Trail is actually the beginning ½ mile of our portion of the Florida Trail. A self-guiding leaflet is available at the ranger station for this trail.

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. The “Loxahatchee” and “Wilson Creek” pavilions are $60.00 plus tax (10 tables – 60 persons) and the larger “Kitching Creek” pavilion is $90.00 plus tax (20 tables – 120 persons). 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.

Primitive Camping
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.

Wildlife Viewing
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.

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.