Johnathan Dickinson State Park

Dec 6, 2021 | 1 comment

-by Judi George

Johnathan Dickinson State Park offers several experiences that you can enjoy whether you are visiting for a day or, camping for a longer stay. The Florida State Park website shows it is one of the largest and most diverse parks with more than 10,000 acres of land.

While camping in early December I had a morning to myself and so I thought I would take advantage of some alone time during my stay and I went exploring the park.

Hobe Mountain Tower

My first stop was the Hobe Mountain Observation Tower.

photo credit Judi George – Tower

The observation landing is 86 feet above sea level with nice views of the area. 

photo credit Judi George – Boardwalk

The walk is a wooden boardwalk with quite a few steps that will get your heart pumping. 

Here you can see the intercoastal waterway just across the street from the park.  

photo credit Judi George – Intercoastal view

Historical marker

photo credit Judi George – History of park

There is an informative trailhead where you can read about the history of the park. 

Loxahatchee River

My next stop was the Loxahatchee River. I had planned to take the pontoon boat tour that the park advertises.  I was the only person for the tour that morning and the captain requires a minimum of two people to make the trip, therefore he wouldn’t go out. At first, I was a little disappointed until I realized they also offer kayak and canoe rentals.  I had none of my kayaking gear with me but, I am adventurous so I thought I would try a canoe.

In full disclosure, I am an experienced paddler. I don’t think I would recommend a solo trip for someone new to the sport.  I chose the canoe since I was in street clothes rather than river-wear and because the kayaks are self-bailing, which means there are holes in the bottom to drain if water gets into the boat. Also your shoes and bottom are likely to get wet, and because I also had my good camera with me, I didn’t want to have it on the bottom of the kayak.

photo credit Judi George – view of
Loxahatchee River

Once I rented the equipment and got on the water, I forgot all about the pontoon boat disappointment.  The water was so relaxing and beautiful.  I was the only one out here.  I love to be the first in the area when I kayak in the morning. 

photo credit Judi George – Rocky Raccoon

There is a better chance to see wildlife before motorboats because the daily noises scare them into hiding.  The store clerk had suggested that I paddle up to Kitching Creek for the best chance to see any wildlife.  I am happy I took his suggestion.  Once I was on Kitching Creek I was rewarded with a special shot of Rocky looking out at me through the mangroves.

photo credit Judi George – Mr. Turtle

I caught sight of a turtle,

photo credit Judi George – Bird

and bird on the shore of the creek.

photo credit Judi George – Alligator one

The deeper I went into the creek I could tell it was less traveled by the siting of a couple of alligators.  Since I was alone, I chose to make this the turn-around point before the creek became so shallow I might need to walk the canoe to turn it around.

photo credit Judi George – Alligator two

The return trip to the boat landing is quicker since you are going downstream.  The fishermen with their motorboats were out by then.

photo credit Judi George – Hawk?

I was able to see a couple of nice hawks along the river. Here is one.

I still haven’t taken the mountain bike along the trails at the park which means I will need to come back.   The evening brought a gorgeous sunset.

photo credit Judi George – Sunset

This is just one of the many Florida State Parks to enjoy. Thanks for coming along with me on my journey. Until next week.

-Peace, Love and Paddling

– Judi

1 Comment

  1. Linda Dino

    Great Photos my daughter lives close by to this park. Hope to visit her and maybe camp there. I live in Colorado.

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