Jonathan Dickinson State Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Jonathan Dickinson State Park 001.JPG
Loxahatchee River inside the park
Map showing the location of Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Map showing the location of Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Map showing the location of Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Map showing the location of Jonathan Dickinson State Park
LocationMartin County, Florida, United States
Nearest cityHobe Sound / Tequesta, Florida
Coordinates27°00′22″N 80°07′44″W / 27.00611°N 80.12889°W / 27.00611; -80.12889Coordinates: 27°00′22″N 80°07′44″W / 27.00611°N 80.12889°W / 27.00611; -80.12889
Area11,500 acres (47 km2)
Visitors172,000 (in 2004)
Governing bodyFlorida Department of Environmental Protection

Jonathan Dickinson State Park is a Florida State Park and historic site located in Martin County, Florida, between Hobe Sound and Tequesta. 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 also along the Ocean to Lake Trail. The park is at 16450 S.E. Federal Highway, Hobe Sound. The park is well known for its Camp Murphy Mountain Bike Trails.


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 tribes, and their journey up the coast to St. Augustine.

A man known as Trapper Nelson homesteaded on the banks of the Loxahatchee River after coming to the area in the 1930s, living off the land trapping and selling furs. He soon became known as the Wildman of the Loxahatchee. After he died in 1968 the state acquired his land, and deeded it to 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. The property was transferred to the State of Florida in 1947, and opened as a state park in 1950.

Recreational activities

The 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.

In film

Jonathan Dickinson State Park was used to film the first segment of the second episode of BBC's Walking with Monsters, set in Late Carboniferous Kansas.

Popular Mountain bike channels on YouTube such as BKXC and BCPOV have featured the park's Camp Murphy Mountain Bike trails.


References and external links