This is Segment 20, Region J. This segment features four state parks on Florida's Gold Coast: Jonathan Dickinson, St. Lucie Inlet Preserve, Seabranch Preserve and Ft. Pierce Inlet. All are accessible from the ICW and good spots to explore. Only Jonathan Dickinson has a regular campground that is available to solo or small groups of paddlers.
Starting at Jonathan Dickinson, paddlers will go 5 miles down river to the ICW and Jupiter Inlet. The inlet marks the southern end of the 155-mile Indian River Lagoon. Those desiring a shorter day one trip can begin at the Jupiter Waterfront Inn, shaving 7 miles from the trip.
Heading north from the Inlet, paddlers will be treated to the Florida east coast treasures of Coral Cove Park, Blowing Rocks Preserve and 1000-acre Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. This day ends at the large "MC3" spoil island. It's usually high and dry for camping.
Day two of this segment is a 21-mile stretch along the Indian River between the mainland and Hutchinson Island. Here the river is up to two miles wide, far different from the narrow ICW paddled in earlier east coast segments. Fort Pierce Inlet State Park marks the end of this segment.
The South Fork of the St. Lucie River is a gentle stream that flows through a brackish oak hammock. The upper reaches are undeveloped and paddlers often spot manatees, otters, osprey, alligators, turtles and a host of wading birds. An outfitter is conveniently situated on the river.
44.5 miles of the Circumnavigational Trail
1 river paddling trail
- Special precautions should be taken in the narrow portions of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) regarding boat traffic.
- Lack of camping opportunities and the erosion of some spoil islands are the reasons for the 20-plus miles that need to be covered each day.
Primary Campsites & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail
- Jonathan Dickinson State Park to Spoil Island MC3, 23.5 miles
- Spoil Island MC3 to Ft. Pierce, 21 miles
- South Fork of the St. Lucie River (7 miles)
- Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
- Martin County Sheriff: 772-220-7000
- St. Lucie County Sheriff: 772-462-7300
- Okeechobee County Sheriff: 863-763-3117
- Glades County Sheriff: 863-946-1600
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922
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