Located in southern Martin County in Florida, Atlantic Ridge State Park is still under development. This area is noted primarily for being a wetlands and uplands area. This area is noted for its pristine beauty and wilderness that has barely been touched by modern man. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation currently manages the Atlantic Ridge State Park.
This area has been designated for purchase through Florida’s conservation land-buying program that used sales taxes to purchase parks and conservation lands. Eventually, the state hopes to purchase 16,000 acres in total for the park. Prior to becoming a public park, the area was used primarily by local fox hunting groups who used the area for hunter paces. One such hunt occurred within the park’s area on January 7, 2006.
As one of the newest state parks, its popularity and size have yet to grow. Additionally, the availability of state funds is impacting the growth and development of the park. The regional office for the park is located in Hobe Sound on SE Federal Highway. The creation of the Atlantic Ridge State Park will help to link together Halpatiokee Regional Park to the north and Jonathan Dickinson State Park to the south in a wildlife, greenway, and recreational corridor.
Atlantic Ridge State Park is home to several different endangered species of animals as well as plants. The wildlife inhabiting this area includes bobcats, armadillos, raccoons, snakes, and deer.
Birds are plentiful, especially those that thrive in the wetlands. This type of bird spends most of their time near water where they will dive or wade for their food supply. This includes egrets and herons. The wood stork and Florida sandhill crane are also plentiful in this area, making this an excellent location for birdwatchers.
Access to the hiking trail is currently limited to a small number of people per day. As the park becomes more fully financed and developed, access should become more open to the public.
Equestrian trails are located in Atlantic Ridge State Park. They are noted for being clearly marked and accessible. Many of these trails are reminders of the area’s fox hunt days.
Activities and Planned Improvements
Plans are underway to incorporate a number of outdoor activities into the park without disrupting the ecosystems that are present. Currently, several projects have been planned or implemented for use at the park. These projects include a septic system, a potable water well, a metal pole barn, and a metal shop building with three separate bays.