Jupiter Florida is known for its tranquil beaches and relaxing atmosphere, but the area holds much more than beauty. Many locals who visit these sites may miss out on the historical stories that go along with a few of the area’s most popular landmarks.  

1.         Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Located just north of Tequesta, Jonathan Dickinson is the largest state park in southeast Florida, measuring over 10 thousand acres! The park offers endless activities for locals and visitors alike, including paved and off-road biking trails, gorgeous equestrian and hiking trails, boating, canoeing, and kayaking along the Loxahatchee River. Less obviously, the site also operates as a historical landmark. Did you know Jonathan Dickinson was actually a Quaker merchant, whose boat shipwrecked nearby the Jupiter Inlet in 1696? Before the land became a state park in 1950, it was home to Camp Murphy, a top-secret radar training school during World War II. More than 6,600 personnel were stationed at the camp, which had its own power plants, sewer system, church, and theater. Today, the land Camp Murphy once occupied is now Pine Grove Campground at the park with 90 functioning campsites.

 

Click here for more information on this beautiful state park

2.         Blowing Rocks Preserve

Don’t miss a trip to this beautiful local beach! The formation of blowing rocks is still somewhat of a mystery, but scientists can agree that this preserve holds the largest outcropping of Anastasia limestone on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. Spanish for ‘cockleshell’, the limestone is made from shell and coral fragments, fossils, and sand leaving the rock porous and ready to inhabit small fish and crustaceans. Visit during rough seas! Some of the best days to visit the blowing rocks are actually during rough seas at high tide since during these conditions, the waves can crash into the limestone causing a force of water to rise up as high as 50 feet into the air. The rocks and their many tide pools can be explored on a flat day and snorkeling over the rocks at high tide is also a local favorite.

 Click here to learn more about Blowing Rocks Preserve

3.         Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Park

Our town icon! The Jupiter lighthouse can be a fun family day activity with a great view, but it is also an original Florida landmark. This piece of history was built before roads, electricity, and even Henry Flagler’s Railroad, which is amazing to imagine. While enjoying the walk to the lighthouse patrons can visit the Tindall Pioneer Homestead, the earliest-built house still standing in Jupiter, and it’s beautiful. Here visitors can get a glimpse into what life was like for early Jupiter residents. A giant banyan tree planted by Jupiter pioneer Roy Rood can be found at the base of the lighthouse and offers abundant shade to those waiting to climb. There are beautiful yoga classes offered under the Banyan as well. Besides American settlers, Indian tribes also called the lighthouse and 120 acres of surrounding area home. Remains such as tools and pottery from the Jobe and Jeaga tribes remain on display at lighthouse park although the tribes sadly died out in the early 1700s.

 Click here for more information on the Lighthouse and the Yoga classes

4.         Riverbend Park

At just over 600 acres, Riverbend Park is tucked away into Jupiter Farms and a beautiful place for locals and visitors to enjoy all year round! 

This park features beautiful hiking and biking paths, gorgeous equestrian trails and river openings to kayak or canoe throughout Cypress forests. While enjoying the views of the Loxahatchee River, the miles of trails also take visitors through sites of the Battles of the Loxahatchee, two of the last major battles of the Second Seminole War. After the battles, historians say the injured and discased were brought to a large oak tree they called “The Tree of Tears” which is now over 300 years old and still standing in the park.

Learn more about the park here

 

5.         Peanut Island

Only accessible by watercraft, many believe Peanut Island got its name from its shape and size. The island actually got its name in 1946 from a failed peanut oil shipping operation that never ended up taking place. During the midst of the Cuban missile crisis, an underground shelter was built for past president John F. Kennedy to act as an escape from the family’s compound in Palm Beach. At this time in the 1960’s Peanut Island also had a functioning coast guard station, which the secret service took over to protect President Kennedy. While the island is small at only 10 acres it is more than just a party spot!

Click here for more information

Whether you are new to the area or have lived in Jupiter for years, these landmarks can be an experience to learn more about a small beach town packed with history.  

Written by, Megan Bauries 

Posted by Amy Simmonds on

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