Florida Paddling Trails Association
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Palm Beach/Loxahatchee

This segment on the Gold Coast may only be 29 miles in length but covers tremendous ground in historical sites, state parks and aquatic preserves. Be sure to visit John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, featuring coastal forests on a barrier island.

Florida Cities: West Palm Beach, Jupiter

Contact: Contact our Region I Director or Trailkeeper for more information by clicking here Click Here


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7 Locations in Palm Beach/Loxahatchee
Boynton Beach Blueway-2297012/11/2008
Bryant Parkrating3198212/8/2009
Jonathan Dickinson State Parkrating258225/24/2011
Loxahatchee Riverrating364811/6/2011
Munyon Islandrating218815/30/2010
Peanut Islandrating344136/15/2010
Southern Blvd Blueway-2242012/11/2008

This is Segment 19, Region I. This segment on the Gold Coast may only be 29 miles in length but covers tremendous ground in historical sites, wonderful state parks and aquatic preserves. Paddlers completing the entire trail will start by going south to north, along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The put-in is near the Highway 802 bridge in Lake Worth.

After eleven miles of paddling through Lake Worth and past developments, golf courses and marinas is Peanut Island. The 86-acre site offers camping (make reservations early!), nature trails, a maritime museum and best of all, the John F Kennedy Bunker, constructed as a temporary command post during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Three miles north of Peanut Island is the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, featuring a unique mixture of coastal and tropical hammock and mangrove forest on a barrier island.

Here the ICW bears left and narrows for a long stretch before opening up into the Loxahatchee River and eventually into the Jupiter Inlet. The segment terminates at the Jonathan Dickinson State Park and River Campground. It's about 5 miles up the Loxahatchee River from the inlet.

The Loxahatchee was Florida's first federally designated wild and scenic and one of only two currently in the state. After embarking from Riverbend Park, one can quickly see why. Massive cypress trees form a scenic canopy. Alligators, wading birds and turtles are commonly seen. And besides the twisting tannin-tined waterway, there is a fascinating historical stopover spot at the Trapper Nelson's cabin.

29 miles of Circumnavigational Trail

1 state designated river trail

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Environmental Considerations

  • Be wary of large boats and their wakes while in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). Boat wakes often rebound off sea walls, making paddling difficult.
  • Boat traffic is higher on weekends and holidays.
  • Do not tie kayaks to docks along the ICW as boat wakes may cause swamping or damage; always lift them out of the water.
  • There can be snags in the upper Loxahatchee River, so some careful negotiations and pullovers are necessary. Contact the state park or local outfitters to check on conditions.

Primary Campsites & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail

  • Fairfield Inn to Peanut Island, 11 miles
  • Peanut Island to Jonathan Dickinson State Park, 18 miles

River Trails

  • Loxahatchee River (8.5 miles)

Emergency Contacts

  • Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
  • Palm Beach County Sheriff: 561-995-2800 (south), 561-688-3000 (north and central)
  • Martin County Sheriff: 772-220-7000
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922

External Site Links