Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge is a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System located in Martin County, on Jupiter Island in Florida. The national wildlife refuge encompasses a total area of about 1,035 acres of land and is administered by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. This wildlife refuge was established in 1969, to protect the green sea and loggerhead turtles.
The area where the land sits has a rich history and background where the Ais, Tequesta, and Jaega native tribes dwelt in the area and lived as hunters and gatherers on Jupiter Island and areas surrounding the island before the arrival of the Europeans in the 18th century.
The Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge derives its name from the Jaega or the ‘Jobe’ native people. The natives used the diverse array of plant life in the area for food, medicine, tools and to build. For example, the ‘chickee’ huts (like the one that sits behind the Refuge Headquarters) were built using hardwood frames and thatched roofs from Palmetto.
Besides the historical and cultural attraction of this national refuge, you can, of course, get to enjoy one of the most productive sea turtle nesting areas in the country. You can also get to experience over 900 acres of beach, sand dunes, mangrove trees, and a sand pine scrub forest. Other wildlife that you can see in the refuge include brown pelicans, ospreys, and a variety of songbirds and shorebirds.
Besides the animals, historical and cultural experience at the park, you can also get to enjoy recreational activities like hiking, fishing, and educational programs. Some of the amenities within the refuge include trails, a visitor center, viewing sites, nature center, boat launch, and museum.
You are definitely allowed to bring your dog into the wildlife refuge, but you will need to observe strict rules. Some of the rules that you will need to follow include basic rules like ensuring that you clean up after your dog’s poop right away and that you dispose of the poop in the right way.
Ensuring that you either keep your dog leashed or in a secure enclosure at all times and ensure that you respect the refuge resources including animals, plants and buildings are very important. You must also be aware of areas of the refuge that you can and cannot visit. Basically, pets are only allowed to go to the Visitor Center and along trails as long as they are leashed.