HOBE/JUPITER——Jonathon Dickinson State Park
Review of Park residency 3/15-3/20/2015
Located between Hobe and Jupiter Florida on US 1/Federal Highway. The park was originally a secret Military radar training base built in the early 40’s and only used two years. It became a State Park in 1950. There are many outdoor activities including equestrian trails and rides, a bicycle skills course and mountain biking trail network and miles of hiking trails. Canoes and kayaks can be rented and there is also a large pontoon boat on which you can take a cruise. There is a fee for this as there is for the canoe and kayak rentals. Also motorboats can be rented.
Consists of two main campgrounds.
The first is near the highway and park entrance and is a reasonably new campground called the Pine Grove. No pines, no trees, no shade, no privacy…90 campsites designed for RV Mobile Homes, has three bathhouses with washer and dryer in at least one of them.
The second campground is the much older River Campground about 4 miles deep into the park. Mature pine trees provide a small amount of shade as do some Palms. The bath house was suitable and not the derelict denizen I had read about in other reviews. Yes, there were problems as the handicap facilities were not adequate in size. One shower of the three in both the male and female was missing a shower head and one of the handicap rails in the handicap shower was broken at the wall. The shower stalls and commode stalls were small but there was great hot water and pressure. We had consistent problems with maintaining power throughout our stay due to the old age and size of underground power lines. This apparently is a common problem when the River campground is full. The "sand gnats/no see ums" were horrendous when the wind was not blowing. The best sites in my opinion were 103, 104(which we were in), 114, 116 and 132. Sites 106 and 129 were also acceptable.
In addition to the aforementioned campgrounds, there is a primitive Equestrian campground with 5 sites, a primitive youth group campground with 3 sites, some "backcountry" hike in primitive sites and 12 "cabins".
Additionally, there is a large Educational center, a "River" store with a concession stand and outdoor veranda eating area which is open at irregular and somewhat inconvenient hours. The store sells 10lb bags of ice for $1.75 for a solid block and $1.99 for cubed. The store also has free wifi from around 8:30am to around 5:00pm.
Note, there is an active train track which runs thru the park but is not an issue at the River campground but may be at the Barrens campground.
Attractions around the park include the Atlantic Ocean, Hobe Sound and Jupiter inlet. In near by Juno Beach is the free Loggerhead Marine Life Center and Turtle Hospital. In Jupiter is the free Busch Wildlife Sanctuary with native animals to Florida including 4 Panthers, 2 bears, and 2 Bald eagles. About 2 miles from the Park is the free Hobe Sound Nature Center. Jupiter is also home to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins Spring Training facility and just up the road about 20 miles is the New York Mets Spring Training facility at St. Lucie. There is a Publix grocery store about 4 miles north and one 4 miles south of the Park.
All in all considering the cost of motel rooms during Spring Training we would stay at the Park again should we come back another year. BTW, temps were 82-89 during the day and 69-75 at night.
After we got home, I found this alert on the Florida State Park website: River Campground Closure and Renovation
The River Campground will be closed for reconstruction and renovations from April 15, 2015 until April 30, 2016. All other facilities, including the Pine Grove Campground, Eagles View Equestrian Campground, our two primitive camping areas, the three youth group camping areas, and our cabins remain open and available for use by our visitors. Thank you for your patience.
None of the Rangers mentioned anything to us about this when we were having problems and neither I or my wife saw any signs about the campground closure. Hopefully this will mean new electrical lines without sacrificing what vegetation there is.