An expansive preserve west of Stuart, DuPuis WMA provides a wild getaway for outdoor enthusiasts from coastal communities.
The skies are starry; the landscape immense. A portion of the 61-mile Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Okeechobee runs through it.
A nature center provides an overview of the preserve with its interpretive information and nature trail.
Miles of graded roads provide cyclists room to roam, and access for hunters during established hunting seasons.
Three picnic areas — at Governor’s House, The Pond, and DuPuis Grade — provide day destinations.
A chain of loop trails offers day hikers and backpackers an immersion in the backcountry of this South Florida gem.
Resources for exploring the area
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Trailhead: 27.010799, -80.550903
Address: 23500 SW Kanner Highway, Canal Point
Restroom: At nature center
Land manager: South Florida Water Management District
Open 24 hours. Small campground and primitive campsites available. Camping permits available online, see link at bottom of page.
Managed jointly with Florida Fish & Wildlife, DuPuis is a busy hunting destination during all hunting seasons. Check ahead before your hike.
If hiking during hunting season, wear bright orange clothing or an orange pack cover.
From Interstate 95 southbound from points north, take exit 101, Stuart. Follow SR 76 west for 21 miles to the entrance gate on the left.
From Interstate 95 in Jupiter, use the SR 706 exit. Follow SR 706 west 11.8 miles to where it meets SR 710 (Indiantown Rd) and turn north. Continue 7.5 miles to SR 76 and turn west. Or, from south of Jupiter, use PGA Blvd west to reach SR 710. Turn north and drive 19 miles to SR 76. Follow SR 76 west from SR 710 for 7.1 miles to the entrance.
About the Reserve
A restored ranch acquired as part of a ribbon of greenway between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Okeechobee, DuPuis WMA protects a vast landscape.
It’s a mosaic of prairies and pine flatwoods, cypress strands and cypress domes. Across nearly 22,000 acres, it provides wildlife room to roam.
Being close to bustling coastal communities means recreation is part of managing the preserve, with camping and trails available to a variety of users.
A trail open to off-road cyclists begins at the Gate 2 trailhead.
Miles of packed limestone roads, called “grades,” also crisscross DuPuis WMA. Obtain a map at the trailhead or download one at the bottom of this page to plan a route.
DuPuis has two campgrounds its Gate 3 entrance off SR 76. One is for equestrians only, the other for campers who obtain a Special Use License online.
Two primitive campsites are along the lengthy DuPuis Loop, one along Loop 2 and another along Loop 4.
A third primitive site is along the Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail at the land boundary with adjoining Corbett WMA.
Each has first-come, first served sites near a picnic table and fire ring. Loop 4 provides a pitcher pump. Water must be filtered.
DuPuis WMA offers hikers several options. The shortest, family-friendly option is the interpretive trail at the nature center.
The DuPuis Loops encompass a stacked chain of loop trails built and maintained by the Loxahatchee chapter of the Florida Trail Association.
The trail system is accessed via a 0.8 mile connector from the main trailhead off SR 76. A hike on Loop 1 from that trailhead is 4.8 miles, and on Loop 2, 7.2 miles.
Loops 3 and 4 are best suited for trail running or backpacking trips. They interconnect with the Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail, sharing the Loop 4 campsite for both routes.
A hike from the primary trailhead around the entire perimeter of the DuPuis Loops tallies nearly 19 miles, and includes a portion of the Ocean to Lake.
A trip from that trailhead to Powerline Campsite and back is nearly 30 miles. Terrain can be wet and rugged in places.
Hikes within DuPuis WMA
Explore wetlands that are “for the birds” by day hiking the northernmost portion of the DuPuis Loop Trails.
On this western end of the Ocean-to-Lake section of the Florida Trail, this linear hike leads to the heart of DuPuis WMA, zigzagging through pine forests and cypress domes.
See our photos from DuPuis WMA
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
11.7 miles. An ocean-like expanse, Lake Okeechobee is open water to the horizon along the long arc between Pahokee and Port Mayaca
14 miles. In an arc between ancient natural shoreline and expansive waters, this hike along Lake Okeechobee’s eastern shore offers unparalleled vistas
Snaking through an oh-so-slender slice of the rocky Okeechobee Ridge, the relict shoreline of Lake Okeechobee, the Rafael Sanchez Trail stays in deep shade for its 5.7 mile traverse of this skinny stretch of forest.