Visiting Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

We discovered Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge during the 2020 pandemic when looking for nature parks more than ever! Loxahatchee park is a 145,188-acre wildlife sanctuary and is located west of Boynton Beach, FL. It’s a great place to hike and explore. During our hikes, we see alligators, owls, birds, frogs, fish, turtles and all sorts of insects. This is your guide on what to expect, the different trails, and tips especially going with kids!

Loxahatchee Trails

This nature refuge has 50 miles of hiking, biking and paddling trails. Activities for birding, biking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, dog walking, fishing, hiking, and even horseback riding!

Cypress Swamp Boardwalk Trail (0.4 miles) – Our favorite trail. Walk along the elevated boardwalk over the cypress swamp. The trail is covered by large cypress trees, so great if you want a break from the sun. This is also the best trail if you have small kids. Trail Map

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge cypress boardwalk
Cypress Boardwalk Trail

Everglades Canoe Interpretive Trail (5.5 miles) – non-motorized watercraft only here. Good for kayaking or Loxahatchee Adventures has canoe rentals. See Loxahatchee Canoe Trail Map.

Perimeter Levee Trail (36.3 miles) – This trail is open to biking, walking and horseback riding. Keep in mind this is a longer tail and there is no shade or shelter along the way.

Marsh Trail (0.9) – Just shy of a mile, this is another great trail for kids. Halfway through the rectangle shaped trail you’ll find the observation tower. Climb up and get a better view! This trail also has no shade, so be prepared for full sun. You’ll see alligators and lots of birds and turtles.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge observation tower
View from the Loxahatchee observation tower along the Marsh Trail.

There are many more trails at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge – see them all here.

loxahatchee wildlife nature refuge

The Loxahatchee Visitor Center

The visitor center is located where you park if your going to the boardwalk trail. The first few times we came it was closed due to covid. But it’s now open and it’s shocking how much is inside: Night in the everglades exhibit, interactive airboat ride, many educational stations, and a gift shop.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge visitors center
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge visitor center has quite a few educational stations.

Does Loxahatchee park have bathrooms?

Yes, there are restrooms outside the boardwalk and inside the Visitor Center. There’s also water fountain and refilling station.

How big is Loxahatchee?

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is the last remaining area of the northern everglades. It’s over 145,000 acres and one of the largest urban wildlife refuges.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge frog
Frog hiding along the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk trail.

Are there alligators in Loxahatchee Florida?

Oh yes there is! Loxahatchee has lots of alligators. You can see many on your hike through the wildlife refuge. With a permit in specific locations they can even be hunted. If your hiking, especially with little ones always be on the lookout for Florida gators.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge alligator
Loxahatchee alligator sunbathing.

Are dogs allowed at Loxahatchee wildlife Refuge?

Leashed pets are welcome at all boat ramp parking lots and along the Perimeter Levee Trail. Read more about the dos and don’ts here.

Can you hunt at Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge?

Surprisingly, yes. You can hunt at the wildlife refuge in a specific impoundment that can be accessed by boat and a permit is necessary. Hunting is allowed for alligator, deer, hog, and duck. When you’re walking on the trails you’ll likely hear the gunshots.

Things to do nearby

You’ll pass by Bedner’s Farm and Market as your entering Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on the left side of Lee road. Bender’s has lots to offer – you-pick fruit and vegetables, a great farmers market, animal petting zoo, and they’re most famous for their pumpkin patch and fall festival.

bedner's farm kangaroos
Bedner’s Farm petting zoo even has Kangaroos!

If you’re looking for restaurants and shopping, Delray Marketplace is only 5 miles away. It also has a movie theater, bowling alley and a great place to cool off and get ice cream. Out of all the restaurant options, we like Burt & Max’s the most. Get directions here.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to visit and explore!  Did you find this helpful? If yes, subscribe below for more places to explore and fun things to do with kids!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Carly! While working full time, we travel and explore as much as we can. Especially on the weekends. I want to inspire you on new places to see and fun things to do as a family while juggling it all.

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