Wild South Florida — John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
 
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John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
macarthur beach state park
Looking through the mangrove forest and the mass of prop roots along the Dune Trail at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.
macarthur beach state park beach
macarthur beach state park trail
macarthur beach state park kayak
 

10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive (A1A)
North Palm Beach

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John D. MacArthur Beach State Park has the distinction of being the only state park in Palm Beach County. Like other coastal state parks in South Florida, it is a natural oasis — in this case, a 325-acre natural oasis — situated in the concrete canyon that the barrier island largely has become. The focus is on the beach, of course, and the Lake Worth Lagoon. Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing are the major draws to the park.

But the marine hammocks, mangroves, estuaries and beach are sanctuaries for wide variety of plants and animals. Shore birds and wading birds can be found year round within MacArthur's confines. Migratory birds in the cooler months make their way here. The Great Florida Birding Trail has made the park a stop. A boardwalk across the Lake Worth Cove connects the main part of the park with the beach — and the Dune Nature Trail, which cuts through a marine hammock. Mangroves abound on the west side of the trail. There are gumbo limbo trees, cabbage palms, wild lime, strangler figs, bays, paradise trees, poisonwood trees and more. The understory includes wild coffee and rougeberry. Crabs abound under the mangroves.

A free tram is available during certain hours across the boardwalk. The park itself is open 8 a.m. until sunset seven days a week, throughout the year. The nature center has limited hours. There are restrooms and drinking water throughout the park. Kayak rentals are available from a private vendor on site.

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More Resources for John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
Institute for Regional Conservation Plants List   Great Florida Birding Trail Friends of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
 
Photo Gallery for John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
railroad vine banana spider red mangrove halloween pennant dragonfly
grasshopper zebra longwing east coast dune sunflower blue crab
crab beach bean sea lavender sulphur butterfly
plant paradise tree wild lime red berries
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.