Martin County High Point Trip Report

Date: December 16, 2002
Author: Gene Daniell

The high point of Martin County is Hobe Mountain (86 feet), located in Jonathan Dickinson State Park, which is open from 8 AM to sunset. The day fee for the park is $3.25 per car. Fred recommends taking Exit 60 off I-95, going east on FL 708 to US 1, then south to the park. If you are coming from the south, as I was, you can take Exit 59, go east on FL 706 to Jupiter, then north on US 1 to the park. (Beware - the exit numbers will probably be renumbered in the near future, as they have been on other parts of I-95.)

As I arrived after sundown, when the park is closed to day use activities, I elected to stay in their campground, which is neat and attractive but has a few unadvertised amenities: a couple of raccoons who felt they had been invited to dinner at my site, and active train tracks so nearby that you'd swear the periodically passing trains were going to run right through your site.

For Hobe Mountain, pay your entrance fee, bear right where the road to the campground goes left, then turn right just after passing a sign for Hobe Mountain Lookout and continue to the well-signed parking area. (This road is closed to public use just beyond the trailhead.) The trail is a boardwalk all the way now (presumably to protect the vegetation on the sandy soil) - obviously built since Fred Lobdell's visit. It is easy to get out onto the actual ground at the summit - no fence, no crawling, and no signs prohibiting this.

There is a jeep road ascending from the other side (the boardwalk comes up the east-southeast ridge) which shows the sort of erosion which is possible from inappropriate use on a vegetation-stabilized dune like this. I checked around a bit to see if there were some way to climb Hobe Mountain by this other route without having to pay the park admission, but it appears the access is through a facility devoted to STOP (Short Term Offenders Program). As an inveterate long-term offender, I felt this was not a good place for me to be poking around.