Hobe Sound, FL

The "Wild Man of the Loxahatchee" haunts this Florida State Park. Would you camp for the night?

Evie M.

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Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, FLEbyabe Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

I noticed as I move through all the different haunted happenings around Florida, I have not explored one single haunted camp site. And not just any campsite. A state park.

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Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, FLEbyabe Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

What makes Florida State Park so haunted?

According to many sources, including the official Jonathon Dickinson State Park website, This beautiful state park, located in Hobe Sound, FL, is haunted by a Vince "Trapper" Nelson, or the "Wild Man of the Loxahatchee".

Scary.

So who was this man?

Trapper first arrived in Hobe Sound back in the 1930s and made a living in the fur trade. The official website describes Trapper as " a loner for the most part, who found security in this area and a way of life that was suited to his skills and temperament."

Soon Trapper earned the title as the "Wildman of the Loxahatchee". (Apparently, he liked to scare tour boats by swinging out on vines and other fun stuff). Most impressively, he was able to build a zoo along with his fur business. Now, so many decades after his death in 1968, Jonathan Dickinson State Park has preserved Trapper Nelson's little paradise.

And as for Trapper, he's still around, it seems.

Guests have said Trapper has come out sometimes and had conversations and that he was murdered by his brother and not by suicide. (Trapper was found with a bullet to the head). He tells people to stay away from the Native American burial grounds and "to ask women for dates and pat them on the rear end".

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Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, FLEbyabe Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Can you take a ghost tour of the Jonathan Dickinson State Park?

While there is no guided ghost tour, visitors can be lead by a ranger through a tour of the historic site of Trapper Nelson. One of the tour boats, the Loxahatchee Queen II or a canoe is the only way to get to the site.

If you are super brave and want to stay the night, or you want to camp without ghosts, there are tons of amazing things to do at the park. There's equestrian activities, tons of rentals (including boats) at reasonable prices. For overnight camping trips, it is highly recommended to contact the ranger at: 772-546-2771 for information and reservations.

I can't wait to go out and see if Trapper will come say hello. My only question is: Who's coming with me?

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"Reader beware, you're in for a scare!--R.L. Stine"

Orlando, FL
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