Florida Guide > State Parks
JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK
Jonathan Dickinson State Park is located on the U. S. 1 12 miles south of Stuart and is crossed by the Loxahatchee River. This State Park offers most of what fans of the system love; boating, fishing, swimming and trailing.
Trapper Nelson is an important part of the history of this area. He lived here from the 1930s to his death in 1968. Originally, he made his living from trapping animals and selling their furs; later this colourful character became known as the Wild Man of Loxahatchee River and as his fame spread he became a tourist attraction and created a zoo and jungle garden. After his death, the Parks dep acquired his home and land for us to visit today.
This area was a vital part of the war effort since a secret radar school was housed here. At one time there were 6000 soldiers living here. ThE radar school was disbanded in 1944 and in 1947, the land was taken over by the States Department who opened it as a State Parh in 1950.
Start your visit by locating the visitor center which will tell you all about the cultural and natural resources of the park. They are currently engaging in an ongoing expansion programme of the centre. On saturdays there is a family education programme which runs from 10am to 11. 30 am. Phone 561 745 5551 to book a place.
Do make sure you take the boat tour while you are here; the tours last for 2 hours and also take you to see Trapper Nelsons home. The boat does not run on monday or tuesday; call 561 746 1466 for more details.
There are 4 nature trails here; if you can only fit in one of them, then do the Hobe Mountain Trail. This is a short boardwalk trail that takes you up past sand pine scrub to an observation tower. Here you can se for miles.
Next make for the picnic area where you can pick up the Kitchen-Creec-Wilson Creek Trail. This takes you by way of creeks and pine flat woods. You can also walk part of the Florida Trail by joining the Sand Pine Scrubs Trail.
Among the wildlife to look out for are bob cats, foxes and otters and the area is famed for its variety and amount of birds, so take your binoculars.
If you fish in the ramp area you will catch salt water fish such as bass; move over to the open river area and your haul may include fresh water fish such as snook and snapper. You can also fish in the lakes.
You can rent a canoe, kayak or motor boat from the concession holder which is by the picnic area; this is a great way to explore the park as you firstly glide under cypress trees and then into an estuary which is bordered by mangroves.
You will be ready for a rest now, so head to the beach which you will find on Loxahatchee River. You are allowed to swim here too; though there are no lifeguards.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
16450 S. E. Federal Highway
Hobe Sound, Florida 33455
Fax: Contact Park for Number
Citizen Support Organization
Friends of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Inc.
16450 Southeast Federal Highway, Hobe Sound, FL 33455
Visitor Service Provider
Jonathan Dickinson State Park River Tours, Inc.
16450 Southeast Federal Highway
Hobe Sound, FL 33455
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Page added on: 9 February 2008
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