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Riverbend Park to Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Riverbend Park is a very nice park just west of I-95 and the Florida Turnpike at 9060 W. Indiantown Rd., Jupiter, FL. It is located on the north side of the road and has plenty of parking. It is adjacent to the Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park also located in the same area. Trails run through both parks and even lead to Cypress Creek Natural Area just to the west. I decided to hike on the Ocean to Lake Trail that crosses this park.
Paved Path Heading East
I headed east from the parking area, that you pull into on the left once you enter the park, and stay close to Indiantown Road so I can go under the road that leads out of the park.
Trail Under Indiantown Road
You'll soon come to an opening in the fence, which is the way I went this time, but if you turn left here where the orange blazes are, you will be on the trail and you can step over the fence by using the wooden structure they put there to make it easy for you to do so. I recommend you go this way because you will be in the trees and it is a lot cooler than going through the fence and finding the trail later.
Follow the Orange Blazes
You will cross over the Loxahatchee River at the bridge on the road.
The trail will take you along the Loxahatchee River through the woods.
Loxahatchee River Through the Woods
I hiked until I came upon the "BZ Creek" and walked over the boardwalk.
There are Cactuses close to the trail so be careful you don't get too close!
I then had to backpack under the Florida Turnpike and Interstate Route 95 beside the river. Make sure to duck low enough as to not hit your head! I did this the first time I hiked this trail and it did not feel good hitting cement! Thank goodness I had my straw hat on or it could have been a lot worse!
Florida Turnpike and Interstate Route 95
Walking on the east side of the freeways, there is a sparse Pine Forest. Also, I sometimes call this the "Fry Pan" because there is less shade! It was around 81 degrees that day so a little warm. I see on the right some more trees and I wondered why they did not run the trail through there? Someone I ran into told me it was wet.
I love spring in Florida because of all the blooms of the flowers and green leaves on the trees! I begin to come up on Cactuses that have beautiful yellow flowers!
Cactuses with Beautiful Yellow Flowers!
I am happy too that somebody built wooden bridges so us hikers can cross water without getting our feet wet! I just hate that!
There are lots of hiking trails in Florida and I came across the "Jessup Trail". I'll have to research this and maybe hike it one day.
Lots of really nice Oak and Pine trees here and shade!
Really Nice Trees!
I finally come to the "Hobe Groves Canal" where some hikers told me earlier in the day that I would have to walk through water to get across to get to the state park. There are two benches at the top of the bank on the west side where you can take off your shoes. I decided to have lunch here and rest my legs since it was the first place I came to where I could sit down! I took about half an hour and while I was there, a man and a woman came along on mountain bikes. The man rode across the water on his bike while the woman took off her shoes and pushed the bike across the canal. At this point, the water isn't too deep but it does run fast! The man then pushed the woman's bike up the steep bank for her. They joined me at the benches and we chatted for a while. They had to have been at least seventy years old because I'm in my sixties and they looked to be older than me. They had the bike outfits on as well. Good for them that they can go mountain biking and enjoy the outdoors! This is what keeps us young! After the couple left, I went down to the water to see if there was anyway I could cross without taking off my shoes. I could not see a way so I went back up to the bench and took off my shoes and socks. I dropped a shoe so I told myself to not do that in the water or I would be in trouble because the fast moving water would take my shoe away!
Hobe Groves Canal
So I get to the other side and I had to walk a little ways to get to the Jonathan Dickinson State Park entrance where there are some more benches. I see on the sign that there is a "Day Use Fee" of $2 per person. My goal was to get to the state park and hike back even though I thought I could go on to the "Kitchen Creek Campsite" within the park. I did not have any cash on me so I decided to turn back around and cross the canal and hike back. Had I known earlier about the fee, I would have saved myself the trouble of taking off my shoes and socks and getting my feet all dirty! Plus, my feet are a little sensitive and the little stones there were a little tough on my feet. On the way back, I came across some more Cactuses that were blooming nice with the bright sun that we were getting that day!
More Beautiful Cactus Flowers!
On the way back, I see a rabbit and try to get a photo of it. It was a little dark on the trail since I was in the woods so my flash would go off while taking the photo. This caused the bunny to have "red eye" in the shot and I took two photos and both came out the same way!
Rabbit with Red Eye
When I finally get back to my car, I'm happy I did not hike any further! I was beat! This is a great hike, not too long or short, just right for a day hike!
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