Dupuis Wildlife Reserve
Off SR 76 Between Port Mayaca and Indiantown. This state forest, located two miles from the east shore of Lake Okeechobee, represents a remnant of the northern portion of the Everglades and includes pine flatwoods, cypress swamps, wet prairies, and freshwater marshes. There are four loop trails of varying lengths developed by the Florida Trail Association.
Several bald eagles nest here. Herons, egrets, wood storks, and white ibis hunt for food in the marshes close to the road during the wet season. Look for white-tailed deer and wild hogs around dawn and dusk.
Gate 2 provides access to hiking trails, Gate 3 access to horseback riding. Gate 6 provides access for the general public.
The reserve encompasses approximately 21,900 acres in western Palm Beach and Martin Counties and was purchased by the South Florida Water Management District under Florida's Save Our Rivers Program. A mosaic of pine flatwoods, ponds, cypress domes, wet prairies, and cabbage palm hammocks, the reserve is home to a variety of native plants and animals, including a number of endangered and threatened species. Occasional sightings of the endangered Florida panther have been reported. A number of Indian mounds are located in the southwestern portion of the property along what was once the northeastern edge of the historic Everglades. In addition to hiking and backpacking, the reserve is open to horseback riding, birding, photography, and limited hunting.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulates public use of the reserve and manages its fish and wildlife resources. Roadway maintenance, prescribed burning, exotic plant control and the development of general recreation opportunities is handled by the South Florida Water Management District. The District will concentrate its efforts on the management of the reserve's water resources, including the restoration and revitalization of extensive wetland areas drained by the former owners for pastureland.
The northern terminus is at the trailhead/parking area off SR 76, approximately six miles west of its junction with SR 710 at Indiantown. The southern terminus is at the south end of DuPuis Grade parking area. Park at the trailhead off SR 76 via Gate 2 and at the south end of DuPuis Grade Road. There is a well with a pitcher pump near the trail at the "Governor's House" about half a mile south of SR 76.
Carry plenty of water, and treat any water you get on the reserve. Sign the trail register. Lock your car. Get a camping permit, and consult the bulletin board at the trailhead for current regulations. Camp only at the designated site. You must have a permit to camp overnight. Permit at trailhead: Day Use $3.00 (up to 5 people in vehicle) or Primitive Campsite $5.00 (up to 8 people). Guns, dogs, and trapping devices are prohibited, and vehicles are restricted to the named or numbered roads. The reserve is closed on the dates of scheduled hunts.
It has mostly bank fishing, but it is a great spot to get away. Good bass fishing is available. Also Oscar, Bluegill, Bream, and catfish. There is a very good chance of seeing Deer, Hogs, Turkey, and other types of Wildlife.