Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Topic Five–January 28 to February 8, 2013

We stayed at Jonathan Dickinson State Park for 11 days. Gin and Syl arrived a day after us. Unfortunately, they both contracted “The Flu” at Disney World;o(( So they just stayed put and spent several days kicking the bug!! A little later in the week, Dan and Tricia arrived. Rather than do a day by day account, we will cover our stay here by topics. Click on any topic to go there directly.


Trapper Nelson was a very interesting character.  We need to thank him for being one of the early wilderness lovers, who spent his time and money trying to preserve the natural beauty of the Loxahatchee River!!!
(click to enlarge any photo)
00 - Wildman of the Loxahatchee Sign
You can take a guided river tour to visit his historical homestead or you can paddle yourself.
With Dan and Tricia, we decided to enjoy a beautiful day on the river and paddle it ourselves!!
We launched our kayaks at the River Campground Launch, south of the State Park boat dock.
I believe Trapper Dan is ready to get going;o))02 - Dan - Trapper Nelson
We picked a beautiful day and the river is spectacular!!!
Completely natural and undeveloped once you pass the State Park Dock.07 - Paddle past Campground Boat Dock
Heading into the wilderness;o))15 - Dan and Tricia Paddling
We have paddled very few rivers that have been untouched by development.
This four mile stretch of the Loxahatchee River was amazing!!
01 - Birds at the Boat Launch   09 - Osprey Nest
GREAT  BLUE  HERON amongst the Mangrove Roots
03 - Great Blue Heron behind the Red Mangrove Roots
10 - Belted Kingfisher                         12 - Young Ibis
13 - Alligator
BROMALAIDES were blooming everywhere!!
15 - Bromalaide   15b - Bromalaide
Beautiful new green growth on the CEDAR  TREES:o))
17 - River Reflections - New Cypress
the REAL star of the paddle was THE RIVER!!!
Completely natural and untouched!!!
05 - tree roots exposed
14 - Loxahachee River  16 - River Reflections

Approaching Trapper Nelson’s boat house, where we were able to tie up our kayaks.18 - Arriving at the Boat House
19 - Trapper Nelson Interpretive Center Sign
There is a Work-camper Volunteer who gives interpretive tours to the people who arrive on the tour boat.  Fortunately for us, a tour boat arrived just as we did and we were able to join in on the tour.  Once the tour is over, they get back on the boat to head back down river. 
We got to stay and enjoy our lunch.  The Volunteer sat and had his lunch with us.  We all sat in the Picnic Area that Trapper Nelson built for the tourist many years ago!! 
Picnic Area and Animal Cages
20 - Picnic Area and Animal Cages
It was a delightful lunch as we learned a little more about Trapper Nelson and our interesting Volunteer. He and his wife started full-timing four years ago. They started work-camping in Florida and basically have not left the state yet. They did fly out west and rented a car for 5 weeks to tour the major National Parks. But for them, work-camping along all of Florida's coastline is what they really love.
Newest Cabin, Water Tower and Citrus Grove
22 - Original Cabin 21 - Citrus Trees
Original Cabin
23 - Newer Cabin 24 - Skins
Cages for the Wild Alligators Trapper Nelson would wrestle;o))20b - Alligator Cages
Tricia was checking out the HUGE bamboo growing near the boat house.
25 - Tricia checking out the huge bamboo
We had a lovely paddle up the river, an interesting tour and a nice lunch.
Now it was time to head back down river to the Campground.
27 - Floating home
Heading down river was with the current so basically, we floated home:o))
We passed a tour boat headed back to Trapper Nelson’s Site.26 - Heading back - tour boat 
This Alligator just kind of floated along with us for some distance;o))
27b - Floating home a little company
It was a lazy float on a beautiful river!!
28 - Royal Palm 29 - Great Blue Heron

We would highly recommend this paddle or take the tour boat to the Trapper Nelson Site.
It was a beautiful trip and very interesting tour!!


  1. That was such a great paddle! And the quiet......loved it! Great memories

  2. Another cool place to paddle- thanks for taking us along.

  3. Great pictures of your paddle. We really enjoyed our kayak trip up there too. We didn't get the big tour since no tour boats came but Ray Cyrus was the work camper who lived just on the edge of Trapper's compound and did the tours at that time and he gave us a great person tour with LOTS of stories about Trapper. I suspect he was the one you met too. Both he and Trapper were very interesting guys. Thanks for the memories.

  4. Another great gem, who'd have thought there was still an untouched area in FL. Looks like it was a wonderful day to enjoy all of nature's beauty. And floating home with the current, an extra bonus! :c)

  5. Hmmm, wonder if that workamp job is available :) Looks like you all had a wonderful time floating down the river.

  6. Good tour of the Loxahachee.

    An alligator floating along with me for some distance would make me nervous.