Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Jonathan Dickinson State Park

16 distinct natural communities create the mosaic that is Jonathan Dickinson, the largest state park in Southeast Florida.  The park includes the Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center

Rare environments such as coastal sand hills, upland lakes, and scrub forests as well as the pristine Loxahatchee River make this park a unique spot to explore by foot or water. Historical interests include a secret WWII training camp, story of the shipwrecked Quaker merchant who is the park’s namesake, and Trapper Nelson, the legendary Wild Man of the Loxahatchee.

Ranger-guided tours of Trapper Nelson’s 1930s pioneer homestead are available year-round via a 44-passenger boat for tours. Visitors can enjoy paved and off-road biking, equestrian and hiking trails. Boating, canoeing and kayaking along the river are also great ways to see the park. Anglers can fish along the riverbank or from a boat. The nature and history of the park comes to life through exhibits and displays in the Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center. Programs for kids or the whole family are also offered here.

The park was named for a Quaker merchant whose vessel shipwrecked nearby in 1696. During World War II, the land the park now occupies was home to Camp Murphy, a top-secret radar training school with over 6,600 men. The land became a state park in 1950. Camp Murphy also included the land occupied by the Tanah Keeta Scout Reservation.   

The FLORIDA TRAIL:  The Ocean to Lake Trail links together a number of shorter trails that have been existence for years through Palm Beach and Martin Counties at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Corbett Wildlife Management Area, and DuPuis Reserve. You can enjoy any of these trails as a backpacking trip or series of day hikes. After ten years of work, the Ocean to Lake Trail is finally open to the public in its entirety; here are the details

Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail
Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail

TROOP 941 notes – This park is consistently one of 941’s most favorite camps for the quality of the camp sites, proximity to canoeing and kayaking, and relatively short drive from Miami. The terrain is good for hiking and camping badges. Unfortunately it has no pool or swimming area.  

Common wildlife: Deer; heron; pileated woodpecker; cardinals; raccoon; alligator. 



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