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Plan Your Visit

Plan V Hdr PicSunrise at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge.

Getting There . . .

The headquarters and visitor center is located on the mainland portion of the Refuge on off U.S. Federal Highway 1, two miles south of Bridge Road (State Road 708) in Hobe Sound, Florida. It is located 20 miles north of West Palm Beach and 20 miles south of Stuart, Martin County, Florida. At the headquarters you can visit an exhibit room featuring live animals, gift shop, environmental education classroom, and walk a short nature trail to the Indian River Lagoon. The Hobe Sound Nature Center, a nonprofit partner with the Refuge, operates the exhibit room, gift shop, and classroom. With more than 121,000 visitors a year, children of all ages learn about the beauty of these unique Florida environments and participate in turtle walks, summer camps, evening forums, and scrub tours. For additional information about the Nature Center programs please call 772-546-2067. To contact the refuge manager call 772-546-6141.

Points of Interest . . . 

The Refuge Visitor Center

V C Exhibit Daisy 2 June 2015 Sarika
Juvenile Gopher Tortoise on exhibit at the Visitor Center

The Refuge Visitor Center is free and open Monday through Saturday, 9am-3pm. Here you can see a diverse array of reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects along with some interpretive displays. The Visitor Center is operated by a non-profit partner of the Refuge, the Hobe Sound Nature Center, Inc. The Hobe Sound Nature Center, Inc. also operates a gift shop within the Visitor Center.

Visitor Center Doorway 
Visitor Center displays

Indian River Lagoon

Lagoon panorama 2016 Gu

The Indian River Lagoon beach can be accessed from the Visitor Center Parking lot. Here visitors can enjoy the mellow atmosphere with minimal waves. Fishing is also popular in this area.

Collectively, the entire Indian River Lagoon is the most biodiverse lagoon ecosystem in the Northern hemisphere and provides habitat for over 2,200 animals and 2,100 species of plants, 35 of which are listed as threatened or endangered.

Hiking Trails

Lagoon Trail
Lagoon Trail

Several short trails are located around the Visitor Center. These trails explore the sand pine scrub, hardwood hammock and mangrove habitats. While hiking our trails, it’s not uncommon to see a gopher tortoise munching on grass, an osprey bringing fish to its young, or a mangrove crab scurrying across the sand. In total there are 1.5 miles of trails. Leashed dogs are permitted in this area of the Refuge only.

Atlantic Ocean Beach

Atlantic Ocean Beach
Hobe Sound Beach

Located on Jupiter Island at the north end of North Beach Road, we manage one of the largest contiguous sections of undeveloped beach in Southeast Florida. Here you can enjoy the sunshine either while fishing, viewing wildlife, sunbathing, or just taking a nice walk along the 3.5 mile stretch of beach.

Know Before You Go . . .

  • The best place to start your visit is the FREE Visitor Center which is open Monday through Saturday, 9am to 3pm. Short hiking trails and access to the Indian River Lagoon beach are located around the Visitor Center and access is permitted sunrise to sunset. 
  • The Atlantic Ocean beach located at the very north end of Jupiter Island is open from sunrise to sunset. There is a $5 parking fee per vehicle. 
  • Well behaved, leashed dogs are allowed ONLY on the trails around the Visitor Center. Dogs are NOT permitted on the Atlantic Ocean beach in order to limit disturbance to wildlife and habitat
  • As always in Florida, be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, bug spray, hats, and comfortable shoes when you visit!

Prohibited Activities . . .

Please keep in mind that the Refuge prohibits certain activities, including but not limited to:

  • Dogs or other pets on the Refuge managed beach area of Jupiter Island. Pets on leashes are permitted on our headquarter area trails including the Intracoastal Waterway access trail; 
  • Feeding, enticing, or disturbing any wildlife; 
  • Taking of turtles, turtle eggs, or any other wildlife of any kind; 
  • Release of any wild or domestic animal;
  • Motorcycles, ATVs, or other motorized vehicles of any type; 
  • Nudity;
  • Fires of any type; 
  • Use of metal detectors of any type 


For more information, please send an email to:

Please call the Refuge Headquarters at 772-546-6141 for clarification or if you have any questions about activities that are prohibited on the Refuge.

P.O. Box 645
13640 U.S. Highway 1
Hobe Sound, FL 33475-0645

PHONE: (772) 546-6141
FAX: (772) 545-7572
Last Updated: Oct 11, 2016
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