Jonathan Dickinson State Park

This park teems with wildlife communities, including sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, mangroves, and river swamps. The Loxahatchee River, Florida's first federally designated Wild and Scenic River, runs through the park.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park is a Florida State Park and historic site located in Martin County, Florida, between Hobe Sound and Tequesta, just south of the town of Stuart, and north of Jupiter Inlet. The park includes the Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center and a variety of natural habitats: sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, mangroves, and river swamps. The Loxahatchee River, designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1985 (the first in Florida), runs through the park. 

The park is named after Jonathan Dickinson, a Quaker merchant who was shipwrecked in 1696, with his family and others, on the Florida coast near the present-day park. He wrote a journal describing their encounters with local Indian tribes and Spanish settlers along the coast as they made their way on foot and small boat to St. Augustine. The journal provides a detailed historical account of the time period. Portions of the Battle of Loxahatchee, fought during the Second Seminole War, are believed to have been fought within the park. The United States Army established Camp Murphy, a top-secret radar training school, in the area that is now the park, in 1942. The camp included over 1,000 buildings, and housed more than 6,000 officers and soldiers. The camp was deactivated in 1944, after only two years of operation. Most of the camp buildings were torn down, but some of the building foundations remain. Following the deactivation, the property was transferred on June 9, 1947, from the U.S. government to the State of Florida for a new state park. Jonathan Dickinson State Park was opened to the public in 1950.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park has such amenities as bicycling, boat tours, boating, cabins, canoeing, fishing, hiking, horse trails, kayaking, picnicking areas, swimming, wildlife viewing and full camping facilities. It also has the Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center, with exhibits about the park's natural and cultural history. The park operates a 44-passenger boat for tours of Trapper Nelson's homestead.


ADDRESS: 16450 S.E. Federal Highway, Hobe Sound, FL 33455
PHONE: 772-546-2771
HOURS: 8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year

page information credit: Florida State Parks, Explore Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Florida Memory Project, Martin County, Visit Florida, Wikipedia Commons Images
photos from the sources listed above, as well as publicly posted online sites with thanks to the contributors