Myself and 5 hardy friends paddled the Loxahatchee River on this summer, somewhat stormy day.
We began at Jonathan Dickinson State Park which would be our final destination. Left a vehicle there for the return leg of the shuttle. We then relocated our persons, kayaks, and gear to Riverbend Park. This is a Palm Beach County Park on the South side of Indiantown Road. There is an outfitter at the site and he rents canoes and kayaks and runs a shuttle We launched from here and paddled the 8 miles back to the State Park.
This is a 22 mile shuttle, actual driving time about 40 minutes each way with traffic and lights. Well worth it (to me) because this way you get to see a long stretch of the River and paddle downstream all day. Alternatively, make an 8 mile round trip from Riverbend Park to avoid the shuttle.
Do not forget basic safety gear. Bring an extra paddle, lots of water, sunscreen, insect repellent, lunch, PFD, safety whistle, hat, and rain poncho.
Now for the actual paddling details:
The Loxahatchee River is very tortuous with many trees and submerged branches in the water. While the direction of the current does not change, the water level does fluctuate with the tide. The water level also is very rain dependent. On this date, we were blessed with high tide and recent heavy rains and had plenty of water. This made the trip very challenging and fun.
For beginner paddlers, this would be trial by fire. I, personally, turned my canoe over on this trip and one of my companions managed to fall out of her SOT kayak. At the end of the trip, we were rewarded by a thunderstorm and a brief delay while a substitute driver was found. Something about lost car keys. Most of the group camped overnight at the State Park.
The next day we paddled the Atlantic Ocean from nearby Hobe Sound Beach. We had some minimal wave activity and generally optimal conditions. It was fabulous.
JDSP has campsites ($22 per night) and cabins. These are very utilitarian (hot water showers, water, and electricity at the sites) and there are precious few other choices for camping in the area. The park also has outstanding bike and walking trails and prolific wildlife. It is also very clean with nice, helpful staff
There is a $4 charge to enter the State Park and the camping fee is $22 per night
Parking at Riverbend Park is free
Google this address for directions to Riverbend Park:
9060 W Indiantown Rd Jupiter FL
or use this web address:
Use this address or web page to locate the State Park:
16450 Se Federal Hwy, Hobe Sound, FL 33455
Hobe Sound Beach is located at the east end of Bridge Road. From the State Park, go north on US 1 to Bridge Road. Turn Right. Go east and either park at the end or drive into the ocean. Can't miss it.