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Loxahatchee River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Weekend Trip Report
Trip Dates: March 2006
Nearest City: Jupiter, FL
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: mkilmurry View Profile

Description:

Jonathon Dickinson State Park resides along side the Loxahatchee River and is one of the best state parks in South Florida. My wife and I consider it one of our favorite places to camp and canoe. Below is some info about the campgrounds and paddling. Don't let my description about the hurricane damage discourage you... be sure to read on.

Paddling:
The access ramp at Jonathon Dickinson SP puts you into one of the widest sections of the Loxahatchee. It looks a lot like the intracoastal. It's about a half mile north or south until you'll find areas that are off limits to motor boats.

Favorite spot:
Travel north from the launch point for about a half mile. Head east into the second entrance on your right into the mangroves. This trail meanders through some gorgeous mangroves and feeds back into the river less than a quarter mile upriver. About halfway through the mangroves is a spot where the river bottom is shaped like a bowl and the bottom is free of sea plants. It's the perfect, secluded swimming spot.

The only downside is the absence of land on either shore. The mangrove trees float on top of the water and the branches encroach on the path above the water. It's near impossible to find a spot to pull aside.

Campground:
As of March, 2006 the park is open, but it's a much different place. Two hurricanes and a wild forest fire have really changed the landscape of not only the campgrounds but the nature trails and look out points. There are two campgrounds at the park: PineGrove and River Campgrounds.

PineGrove was completely leveled from hurricane Jeanne and Wilma. New trees have been planted but it will be many years before their effects are shown. There is little shade and privacy currently. Also, the wind blows pretty hard through that area since there are no trees.

River Campground was miraculously spared from multiple hurricanes and the recent fire. The camping spots are still shaded and grassy. The word is out though, so book ahead at Reserve America. Only campers with tents or small pop up campers are allowed in this area. RV's have to use PineGrove campground.
Although the site says pets are only allowed in Pine Grove, they recently opened up River Campground as well due to all the damage.

Accommodations:

The park offers two full-facility campgrounds, cabins and canoe and kayak rentals.

Fees:

Entrance to the park for the day is a few dollars. A campsite is about $25 after taxes.

Directions:

To Jonathan Dickinson State Park from the south:
On I-95 - take Exit 87A - go east on Indiantown Road to US 1. Turn left (north) on US 1. Jonathan Dickinson is 5 miles on your left.
On Florida Turnpike - take Exit 116 (Jupiter). Go east on Indiantown Road to US 1. Turn left (north) on US 1. Jonathan Dickinson is 5 miles on your left.

To Jonathan Dickinson State Park from the north:
On I-95 - take Exit 96 - go east on Bridge Road to US 1. Turn right (south) on US 1. Jonathan Dickinson is 3 miles on your right.
On Florida Turnpike - take Exit 116 (Jupiter). Go east on Indiantown Road to US 1. Turn left (north) on US 1. Jonathan Dickinson is 5 miles on your left.


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