Jonathan Dickinson State Park: Kitching Creek Trail, Ocean-to-Lake Trail (Kitching Creek to White Trail), and White Trail to Camp Murphy Ruins, Jupiter, Florida
Coming in at 11,500 acres, Jonathan Dickinson State Park is one of the largest state parks in Florida, and it is complete with an extensive trail system of over twenty miles. The park has a variety of habitats, ranging from scrubby sand dunes on the east end, with Hobe Mountain being the highest, to pine flatwoods dotted by cypress domes that occupy much of the park, to wetter hammocks along Kitching Creek and the Loxahatchee River in the park's western and southern regions. This hike occurred on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016. My plan was to hike the Kitching Creek Loop and the the Ocean-to-Lake Trail to the White Loop, completing the White Loop as well. Unfortunately, major changes in the trail system brought me into ultimate confusion and forced me to greatly alter my plans. I ended up hiking only part of the Kitching Creek Loop and White Loop, and I also accidentally hiked a portion of the Ocean-to-Lake Trail westward. Additionally, I ended the hike with a several-mile roadwalk due to exhaustion and time shortage.
South Florida is best known for its sugar cane farms, swamps such as the Everglades, cities like Miami and Naples, and Lake Okeechobee. One of the more secret special places is a relatively little-known "hill" called Hobe Mountain - an ancient sand dune near Jupiter Island that rises to a height of 84 feet above sea level. In this mostly flat land, Hobe Mountain is a unique location, which has an observation tower that is most easily accessed using a short boardwalk in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Jonathan Dickinson State Park itself is a mecca for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, as it has over two dozen miles of hiking trails, in addition to many other recreational opportunities. On this day, I first hiked the short trail to Hobe Mountain, before embarking on a much longer hike through the park. This hike occurred on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016. My plan was to hike the boardwalk out and back to Hobe Mountain and its observation tower.
Mark Oleg Ozboyd
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