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Things To Do in Jupiter – Take Trapper Nelson Challenge

a person sitting in front of a building

2/2/2022

Things To Do in Jupiter

A DAYLONG PADDLING ADVENTURE

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(Photo: KaneCenter.org)

(Top photo: JChomeInspector.com)

Anyone adventurous enough to take the Trapper Nelson Challenge with LOVE STREET OUTDOOR CENTER guides is following – make that paddling – in the path of one of Jupiter’s most famous and mysterious residents.

For prices and more information, click here.

Your paddling voyage with an expert, safety-trained Love Street Outdoor Center guide on the Loxahatchee River at Riverbend Park to Jonathan Dickinson State Park relives the weekly trip for supplies taken by the Legend of the Loxahatchee in the early 1930s.

During your things to do in Jupiter tour, you’ll nose through ribbon-like channels, some just six feet wide. Snook, deer, great blue herons and ‘gators are regular visitors.

You’ll pass orchids, cypress knees and Spanish Moss as you paddle to the swamp-surrounded homestead Trapper set up when he was just 23.

Skinning ‘gators, selling furs, trapping animals, running a zoo and growing citrus kept the blue-eyed New Jersey native busy for 35 years.

PRICES START AT $300 PER PERSON

Boating adventure

WHO WAS TRAPPER NELSON?

a man sitting in front of a building

(Photo: Jonathan Dickinson State Park)

Born in New Jersey and a former resident of Mexico and Texas, the muscular outdoorsman known as “Tarzan of the Loxahatchee” set up a homestead in the then almost-unreachable Loxahatchee River in the 1930s.

Nelson established a zoo, which brought Hollywood celebrities and the local gentry from nearby Jupiter Island and Palm Beach to  buy tickets.

Check out more photos of Trapper by clicking here.

Visitors marveled at Trapper’s outdoor lifestyle.

They brought their friends to gawk at how Trapper hunted wildlife.

They went home and told tales how Trapper cooked his bounty on an outdoor fire to survive.

“I can still see Trapper at the boathouse where they sold bait. After all that rowing, he’d polish off a box of Hershey bars and wash it all down with a quart of milk,” remembers Jupiter pioneer Roy Rood.

Your guide on this things to do in Jupiter adventure will answer any questions.

a house with trees in the background

(Photo: VisitFlorida.com)

The dream lived by Trapper – his real name was Vince Natuliewicz — ended in July, 1968.

A friend found the body of the Legend of Loxahatchee outdoors in a picnic pavilion. There was a shotgun wound in his left chest.

Trapper was 59.

What happened, and who did it, remains a Jupiter mystery you’ll explore during your things to do in Jupiter event.

Choose one of three options:

  • The 3-hour paddle from Riverbend Park to Trapper Nelson’s interpretive site and mother ship follows the flow of the river but still requires upper body strength and moderate level of endurance to navigate the twists and turns of the narrow river and its occasional obstacles. Allow for 5-6 hours on this things to do in Jupiter adventure from launching at Riverbend to docking of the mother ship at Charlie and Joe’s restaurant on Love Street.
    • Monday-Friday depart Riverbend Park by 9 am up to 6 passengers
  • Ask staff about the taking on the entire 16-mile things to do in Jupiter challenge from Riverbend Park to the Atlantic Ocean. Requires outgoing tide and North to Northwest wind. Allow 8 hours on this things to do in Jupiter tour.
  • Or embark with our Captain upriver from the dock at Love Street across from The Jupiter Lighthouse to Trapper Nelson’s interpretive site. Guide will lead you on an easy kayak paddle from the mother ship so you can briefly experience the Wild and Scenic corridor and explore Trapper Nelson’s interpretive site . Round trip boat ride takes about 2.5 hours+1 hour paddle.
  • All ages welcome on this things to do in Jupiter tour.

Want to learn more about Trapper Nelson? Read James D. Snyder’s book, Life and Death on The Loxahatchee: The Story of Trapper Nelson. 

The book is available on Amazon and at local bookstores.

The story of trapper nelson