|National Key Deer Refuge|
Big Pine Key is the largest of the middle keys and the only one with a permanent source of fresh water. This mangrove-fringed island contains extensive areas of stunted pinewoods typical of the Keys, as well as areas of tropical hardwood hammock characterized by gumbo-limbo, poisonwood, and many...
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
|Description: Hobe Sound includes more than three miles of beach, sand dunes, and mangrove swamp on Jupiter Island, and a sand pine scrub forest on the mainland. Here, on one of the most productive sea turtle nesting areas in the United States, federally-listed endangered leatherback and green sea turtles and threatened loggerhead sea turtles crawl from the sea on June and July nights to lay their eggs. Few birds nest on the refuge, but it is extremely valuable for migratory birds. Restoration of native vegetation, and elimination of exotic Brazilian pepper and Australian pine are a major focus here.|
Wildlife to Watch: In winter, northern gannets, common loons, and sea ducks cruise the nearshore Atlantic waters. Walk the beach for year-round views of brown pelicans, osprey, shorebirds, and bottle-nosed dolphins. Look for endangered Florida scrub jays, gopher tortoises, and numerous songbirds on the 0.5 miles Sand Pine scrub Nature Trail.
Special Tips: Refuge office, interpretive museum, and restroom facilities are located on U.S. Highway 1, one mile south of Hobe Sound. Parking is limited at the beach lot and may fill quickly on weekends.
Other Activities: Seasonal interpretive programs, including summer turtle walks, are offered by the Hobe Sound Nature Center; call (407) 546-2067 for details and reservations.
Ownership: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Size: 968 acres
Closest Town: Hobe Sound
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: