Learn the nesting patterns of sea turtles, navigate the freshwater reaches of the Loxahatchee, discover the variety of wildlife that make our community their home. Our area is home to a number of great environmental attractions where you can get up close and personal with nature. Here is just a samplings complete with phone numbers and/or web-sites. Not only can you have a wonderful time exploring nature, but you just might learn something, too!
The River Center
The River Center, located at 805 N. U.S. Highway One, Jupiter (where the Historical Center use to be), traces the Loxahatchee River from its headwaters in Palm Beach County, through the cypress dominated floodplain in the Wild & Scenic segment, into the central embayment, and finally out through Jupiter Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.
Call (561) 743-7123
The Loxahatchee River Environmental Center traces the Loxahatchee River from its headwaters in Palm Beach County, through the cypress dominated floodplain in the Wild & Scenic segment, into the central embayment, and finally out through Jupiter Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.
Call (561) 744-6668
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to learn about Florida’s freshwater and upland ecosystems and includes nature trails, indoor and outdoor wildlife exhibits, an interpretive education center, children’s programs and a wildlife refuge for recuperating wildlife.
Call (561) 575-3399
A remnant of the northern tip of Florida Everglades, there are four loop trails for hiking and backpacking developed by the Florida trail association. Preserved as a habitat for wildlife and native vegetation, Dubuis Preserve offers a variety of recreational uses including hunting, fishing, biking and equestrian trails.
Call (561) 924-5310
Grassy Waters Preserve
The Loxahatchee Preserve includes twenty square miles of public wetlands and represents the largest remaining remnant of the Loxahatchee Slough. The preserve gives visitors an opportunity to pine flatwoods, cypress wetlands and other habitats. Here, presentations on topics of environmental interest are offered, along with guided nature walks, canoe trips, hiking, as well as catch-and-release fishing.
Call (561) 627-8831
Hobe Sound Nature Center
The Hobe Sound Nature on-site facilities include indoor classrooms, an interpretive center with exhibits, live native wildlife and hands-on displays. There are also nature trails for hiking and guided tours, snorkeling, children’s programs, special events, and turtle walks in the summer.
Call (561) 546-2067
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
The Loxahatchee River winds its way through this state park, which spans close to 11,500 acres. There are four scenic nature trails where visitors may observe endangered species such as the bald eagle, Florida scrub-jay, Florida sandhill crane and gopher tortoises. There are also two campgrounds, hiking trails and nature walks, equestrian trails, fishing, biking, picnic facilities, children’s programs, and a concession for canoe rentals and river tours.
Call (561) 546-2771
Jupiter Outdoor Center
This recreation facility offers canoe, kayak, and bike rentals. The Center offers guided ‘eco-tours’ around the Loxahatchee River. The avid recreational users will enjoy biking and hiking throughout the beautiful Riverbend Park and canoeing and kayaking on the Wild and Scenic Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River. Visitors start their trip along the banks of the river and travel through the natural cypress trees overhanging the river and framing this wonderful resource.
Call (561) 747-0063
J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area
Here, visitors can observe the virtually undisturbed slash pine flatwoods, a sawgrass marsh, oak/cabbage palm hammock and cypress wetlands. The property includes a 14-mile spur of the Florida Trail. In addition, there is fishing, hunting, and camping.
Call (561) 625-5122
MacArthur State Beach Park
A 1,600-foot boardwalk over Lake Worth Cove leads visitors to a beach that includes an offshore reef ideal for snorkeling. The beach is a prime nesting area of sea turtles and turtle walks are conducted in the summer. There also is a 4,000 square-foot Nature Center that includes exhibits, displays and a video interpreting the barrier island’s plant and animal species.
Call (561) 624-6950
Marinelife Center of Juno Beach
The Marine Center houses a variety of exhibits such as live sea turtles and other coastal creatures, as well as educational displays about South Florida’s marine environment. Outdoor exhibits lead visitors along a trail through undisturbed coastal vegetation and to the beach where sea turtles nest during the summer.
Call (561) 627-8280
NENA (Northeast Everglades Natural Area)
NENA stretches from Southern Boulevard in Palm Beach County, north to Bridge Road in Martin County, and from the Atlantic Ocean west to Lake Okeechobee. NENA includes over 165,000 acres of natural Florida lands and more than a dozen different activity & education centers that provide information about the area’s natural and human history.
DuBois Park provides excellent fishing, snorkeling, and wading opportunities for kids of all ages. The park also is famous for its historical treasures.
Call (561) 744-7603
Loxahatchee River-Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve
Designated as the Loxahatchee River-Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve in 1970, the preserve includes the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River that was designated as the first of two Wild and Scenic Rivers in Florida and the remains of Trapper Nelson’s Wildlife Zoo.
Environmental Centers / Education Programs
Using the latest in technology and most sophisticated environmental management techniques of our time, no less than 40 public and private entities, spanning from federal government to non-profit foundations, have made a commitment to the Loxahatchee River.
Individually, they are addressing everything from water storage to storm water runoff to habitat preservation to land acquisition to water safety to native vegetation. Collectively, they are ensuring the future of the Loxahatchee River watershed.
These environmental managers are divided into the categories of federal, state, regional, county, municipal, special districts and advisory. By clicking on each category, you can see a listing with summaries and a link to more detailed information.
From public volunteers to federal water managers, there is a vigorous desire not only to understand more about the history of this great river system, but also to carry forth effective programs to protect it. Plans such as the Northern Palm Beach County Comprehensive Water Management Plan, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and the Loxahatchee River Preservation Initiative are working to address issues like storm water runoff, habitat restoration and freshwater flow – to ensure the beauty and environmental significance of this river is forever preserved.
- Federal agencies include: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and more.
- State agencies include: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Park Service, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Community Affairs, Florida Department of Transportation, and more.
- Regional agencies include: Florida Inland Navigation District, South Florida Water Management District, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.
- County agencies include: Palm Beach County and Martin County.
- Municipal agencies include: Town of Jupiter, Village of Tequesta, City of Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter Inlet Colony, and City of West Palm Beach.
- Special districts include: Loxahatchee River District, Jupiter Inlet District, South Indian River Water Control District, Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District, and more.
- Advisory environmental managers: Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council, Friends of the Loxahatchee River, Friends of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, friends of Grassy Waters Preserve, and more.