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Jonathan Dickinson State Park

 Activities at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Bicycling

Bicycling

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." Bicycles may be rented at the River Store.

Florida Bicycle Trails - A Guide to Florida's Top Paved and Off-Road Trails

Boat Ramp

Boat Ramp

A concrete 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.

The boat ramp fee is $4.00 + tax.  This is in addition to the Admission Fee.

Boat Tours

Boat Tours

The 25-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 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday through Monday, and is accessible only by 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. Loxahatchee River Tours

Boating

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 became Florida's first federally designated "Wild & Scenic River." The park concession offers rental canoes, kayaks, and motorboats. Please observe the "idle speed" limit on the river within the park.

Cabins

Cabins

Special Notice: Nine of the park's twelve cabins are currently available for rental through ReserveAmerica.com.

Jonathan Dickinson’s 12 cabins are located near the Loxahatchee River. All cabins are furnished and have one bedroom with a queen or full-size bed, one bathroom, living area, dining area and kitchen area. Maximum occupancy is 4-6 people depending upon the cabin. Cabins are supplied with bed and bath linens. All cabins have outside picnic tables as well as fire rings for outdoor cooking. Pets are not allowed.

View the photo gallery.

Campfire Circles

Campfire Circles

Campfire programs are given each Saturday evening, for overnight visitors, at varied locations. Check with the Ranger Station. In addition, a ranger-guided nature walk starts each Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m., at varied locations. Please check with the Ranger Station for details.

Camping, Equestrian

Camping, Equestrian

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. Eight miles of multi-use trails start at the EaglesView area, available for horseback riding, hiking and off-road bicycling. Trail maps are available at the ranger station.

Camping, Full Facility

Camping, Full Facility

Two family campgrounds are located at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Pine Grove Campground, with 90 sites, is located near the ranger station on the east side of the park. The River Campground, with 45 sites, is about four miles from the park entrance, near the Loxahatchee River. Both campgrounds have large, tiled restrooms with hot showers. All sites include water, electricity, table and grill. A dump station is located in each campground. Well behaved pets are welcome in the campground.

The park offers fun, family education programs every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. til 11:30 a.m. and a nature walk on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Rental canoes, kayaks, motorboats and tour boat are available.

Maximum RV length = 81 ft.

Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.

Camping, Primitive

Camping, Primitive

Two backpack camps are available on segments of the Florida Trail. Maps of the Trail are available at the Ranger Station. One camp is five miles out along the trail, and the other is nine miles out. A pitcher pump is located near each camp. Water must be treated. Pets are not permitted on this trail and/or at these camps. Collection of firewood is not permitted in Florida State Parks; be sure to pack a stove for cooking. Overnight trips to these camps must begin by certain specified times of the day; reservations are not required, but are suggested. Call the Ranger Station at (772) 546-2771 for information and reservations.

Camping, Youth

Camping, Youth

Three youth group sites each accommodate 30 campers. Youths are defined as being less than 18 years of age. Youths must be chaperoned by at least one adult, 21 years of age or older, for each 10 youths. Pets are welcome. Sites are equipped with tables, 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. Call the park for reservations at (772) 546-2771.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

The park's Visitor Services Provider offers canoe and kayak rentals. Please call (561) 746-1466 for current rates and rental information.

Concession & Restaurant

Concession & Restaurant

The River Store is located in the picnic area, and has limited camping and grocery items, drinks, snacks, and souvenirs. The store is where canoes, kayaks, bicycles and motorboats may be rented. Tickets for the Loxahatchee Queen II are also purchased here.

Fishing

Fishing

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. Freshwater fishing is also available in several of the ponds and lakes, mainly in the eastern and southeastern areas of the park.

Geo-Seeking

Geo-Seeking

Geocaching is a family-friendly, fun new activity that combines high-tech gadgetry with low-tech enjoyment of the great outdoors. It’s actually a modern-day version of a treasure hunt or a scavenger hunt; folks hide “caches” in the woods, which are usually something like a Tupperware container or a steel ammo box, containing little trinkets or logbooks or such. The GPS coordinates for the cache are posted on a website, and people go out and search with their handheld GPS units. When they discover a new cache, they might log in on the enclosed book, or take a trinket while leaving one of their own, etc.

Jonathan Dickinson has literally hundreds of caches hidden throughout our 11,500 acres of parklands. For more information, go to www.geocaching.com to get started in the great new activity!
 

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

Three 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.

Horse/Equestrian Trail

Horse/Equestrian Trail

Eight miles of multi-use trails start at the EaglesView area, available for horseback riding, hiking and off-road bicycling. 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.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

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." Bicycles may be rented at the River Store.

Florida Bicycle Trails - A Guide to Florida's Top Paved and Off-Road Trails

Picnicking

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, three of which 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 $100.00 plus tax (20 tables - 150 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.

Swimming

Swimming

A beautiful grassy swimming beach is available on the shores of the Loxahatchee River. No lifeguards are present, so please exercise caution. It is adjacent to the reservable Loxahatchee picnic pavilion, and a new, modern restroom with outdoor shower. Please call for current swimming conditions.

Tours

Tours

Special Notice: Guided horseback tours have been suspended for the summer.

Guided horseback rides are once again available at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, starting at the EaglesView Equestrian Area and meandering along scenic backcountry routes. Trail rides take place 7 days a week starting at 9:00 a.m. and running until 3:30 p.m. Rides are $25 per person and last about an hour. Riders must be age 6 or older. Hand-led pony rides are available for children under 6, 15 minutes for $12. And what could be nicer than a trip along the back roads of the park in our big farm wagon, pulled by a team of two beautiful Percheron draft horses? The wagon will carry up to 14 folks, and each pays only $10 for a 45-minute trail ride.

Participation Requirements

Visitor Center

Visitor Center

The Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center is a great place to begin a trip to the park. Visitors can 'tour' the natural and cultural resources of the park with interactive and informational displays. The park video, “A Balancing Act: Recreation and Preservation at Jonathan Dickinson State Park” is shown all day upon request.The classrooms and research laboratory provide children and adults an opportunity to learn and discover more about the variety of natural communities in the park, including the Loxahatchee River. For more information about our current programs, please visit the Friends of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Inc. website or call the Kimbell Center at (561) 745-5551. Photo The Kimbell Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Wildlife Viewing

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 150 species of birds have been identified here, making Jonathan Dickinson a premier birding destination.