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|JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK
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.
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 LOXAHATCHEE RIVER
The 44-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.
Four scenic nature trails and a bicycle trail provide rare opportunities to glimpse endangered, threatened and unique animals, such as the bald eagle, Florida scrub-jay, Florida sandhill crane and gopher tortoise.
About 20 percent of the park is covered in coastal sand pine scrub, a biological community so rare it is designated "globally imperiled." Trails through the scrub are located off the entrance station parking lot and at Hobe Mountain.
Two campgrounds are available within the park. Tree-shaded Pine Grove is located a short distance from the entrance station. The other is near the Loxahatchee River. A primitive youth camp is also available by reservation. Cabins may be rented at the concession facility, along with canoes.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park is located 12 miles south of Stuart on U.S.1.
For general park information and camping reservations, contact:
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
16450 S.E. Federal Highway
Hobe Sound, Florida 33455
For cabin and canoe rentals
and river tour information, contact the park concession at (561) 746-1466.
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