John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
|John D. MacArthur Beach State Park|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||Palm Beach County, Florida, United States|
|Nearest city||Village of North Palm Beach, Florida|
|Area||437.60 acres (177.09 ha)|
|Visitors||101924 (in 2003)|
|Governing body||Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, named for John D. MacArthur whose Foundation donated a portion of the land for its construction in the 1970s, is located just north of Singer Island, Florida in North Palm Beach, Florida. The park was first opened to the public in 1989. It covers 348 acres (1.4 km2) on land and underwater, including an Estuary crossed by a 1,600-foot (490 m) boardwalk, and Munyon Island (named after Dr. James Munyon), an offshore wilderness that was home to a lavish hotel, Hygeia Hotel, at the turn of the Twentieth century. The hotel burned to the ground in 1915. Hiking trails and pavilions are open for public use on the island. The island is accessible only by kayak or boat.
The Park features 1.6 miles of beautiful natural beach, a limestone reef walkable from the beach, two self-guiding nature trails and an amphitheater with live music on occasion. One section of the beach was called Air Force Beach from the early 1940s to 1956 because it was used by Palm Beach Air Force Base personnel.
MacArthur Beach is widely known as a nesting ground for rare sea turtles, including the threatened loggerhead, the endangered green sea turtle and, occasionally, the exceedingly rare leatherback. Many endangered species of birds also visit the park, namely the peregrine falcon, the wood stork, and the least tern. In addition to state funds, the park receives financial support through the "Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park," a State of Florida sanctioned Citizen Support Organization.
The William T. Kirby Nature Center features exhibits about the park's natural history, and includes live animal exhibits such as two loggerhead sea turtles.
Beach Outfitters Gift Shop and Kayak Rentals offers a wide variety of unique gifts to make your visit to MacArthur Beach State Park memorable. The Gift Shop is your check-in spot for rental of Kayaks, Dive Flags, Lockers and Binoculars. Kayaks are rented daily, first come, first served.
Media related to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park at Wikimedia Commons