On a hill overlooking the Loxahatchee River, the red Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse offers panoramic views. 

Loxahatchee River 

The Loxahatchee River, Florida's first National Wild and Scenic River, is a lush, winding river that is one of Jonathan Dickinson State Park's most notable features. Loxahatchee River is only an hour's drive from most of South Florida's urban sprawl. The top section's profusion of palm trees and century-old cypress trees gives it a picturesque appearance as the coffee-colored stream flows among them. The Loxahatchee River is one of the greatest rivers for kayaking in South Florida, and it's a terrific spot for a range of paddling and canoeing excursions.

Geography Of Loxahatchee River

Aerial view of Loxahatchee River in Tequesta, Florida
Aerial view of Loxahatchee River in Tequesta, Florida. 

The communities of Jupiter, Tequesta, Jupiter Island, Jupiter Farms, Hobe Sound, etc., are all part of this river basin's 260-square-mile ecosystem. The Loxahatchee Slough, located 20 miles south of the park, is where this 12.2 km long river begins its trip. It finally makes its way to the Jupiter Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean after meandering through freshwater streams and a brackish estuary. The Southwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River runs south of the Jonathan Dickinson State Park's boundaries, while the North and Northwest Forks flows through the park. 

History Of Loxahatchee River

The river served as the setting for the Battle of the Loxahatchee, one of the deadliest and costliest battles of the Indian Wars in the United States, which took place during the Second Seminole War. The river banks were home to many pioneer families, including Trapper Nelson, the Wild Man of the Loxahatchee.

Wildlife In Loxahatchee River

Three juvenile white ibises along the Loxahatchee River
Three juvenile white ibises along the Loxahatchee River. 

Several floral and faunal species are found in the Loxahatchee River Watershed, which is home to a diversity of ecosystems. In Riverbend Park, while canoeing down the Wild And Scenic Loxahatchee River, one can encounter scurrying raccoons, sunbathing yellow-bellied turtles, and great blue herons prancing in the shallows in search of a meal. The ice-clear waters make it easy to spot manatees, sea turtles, and tropical fish. 

One will be in awe of the brilliant colorful fishes, the beauty of the manatees, and the sea turtles' swift swimming. Snail kites, sandhill cranes, egrets, and roseate spoonbills are among the birds one can spot here. As one passes through the dense, emerald mangroves on the coast, one can see a variety of avian species within the branches. Additionally, young fish seek refuge from predators under the mangrove trees' roots.

Threats And Mitigation

Loxahatchee River in Cypress Forest with hanging vines
Loxahatchee River in Cypress Forest with hanging vines. 

Despite being a protected river, development and climate change have had an ecological influence on the Loxahatchee River. Saltwater intrusion has harmed the National Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River since the 1940s. In the river's lower portions, the original bald cypress disappeared and was replaced by mangroves. Since the 1980s, the river has received more freshwater thanks to several restoration initiatives. To bring these regions back to their former state, the authorities are now reintroducing bald cypress in the Loxahatchee River floodplain.

Significant Developments

The scenic Loxahatchee River in South Florida
The scenic Loxahatchee River in South Florida. 

To provide utilities and other environmental services within the entire Loxahatchee River basin, the government established the Loxahatchee River Environmental Control District in 1971. The regional wastewater system that serves Tequesta, Jupiter, Juno Beach, and the unincorporated portions of northern Palm Beach and southern Martin counties is now owned, operated, and regulated by the District. The District's legally mandated policy about new development is to offer the necessary utility services to the area both today and as it expands. It therefore intends to collaborate closely with further developments to ensure that utility services may be supplied promptly and as per the District's requirements and specifications.


More in Bodies of Water