Jonathon Dickinson State Park

Discussion in 'Florida' started by speckhunter80, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    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 Barrens. Barren is correct, 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.
     
  2. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Found this notice today 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.

    No signs that I or my wife saw and the Rangers never said anything to me when I complained about the power.
     
  3. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    I incorrectly called the first campground "Pine Barren" it is the "Pine Grove" campground. Call it what you want there are no pines or trees of any kind. Read that the trees were killed by a hurricane 6 years or so ago. Here in NC we can grow some trees in 5 years Why can't they in Florida?.
     
  4. jjkach

    jjkach New Member

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    We camped there in 2004 when the Pine Grove had plenty of trees and shrubs in between each site. When the hurricanes came and destroyed the campground, they leveled it and any trees that were still there and left the park a little rough looking for a couple of years before they did the upgrades. I think they left the sea sand and did not put the right soil to grow the trees. Every plant and tree that we have watched them plant never made it. The palm trees are the only trees that really seem to make it. I guess the river campground will look like the Pine Grove campground when they open it next April. When it comes to state parks, South Florida lacks what Central and North Florida have. [:(]
     
  5. motorican

    motorican Who's lost? just takin' the scenic route

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    salt water intrusion slows tree growth other than palms and sea grape or australian pine. Florida no longer allows australian pines.
     
  6. GatorChamp44

    GatorChamp44 Active Member

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    I grew up in the park when pine grove was actually a pine grove. Endless memories in this place. I have had some random day trips here over the last decade but when I bought my pup this year I immediately looked into getting a site. We are booked for this December. I happened to be in the area a few weeks ago and wanted to go scout our site we booked. Pine Grove is still a barren wasteland but looked well kept. I like the paved bike path they are running through the park. Unfortunately the river sites and river recreation area need a lot of work. I saw the new comfort stations in the river camp but didn't look. They looked good from the outside. The sites themselves were small and not well kept. Not as much shade as I remember. The restrooms at the reception area were gross. Missing handles. Faucets and fixtures that I'm sure haven't been changed since I was a kid. Dirty.

    I am trying to stay excited about bringing my family where I made so many memories but I was very disappointed in what I saw.
     

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