Canoe Outfitters of Florida

The History of Trapper Nelson


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Published Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trapper Nelson's cabin is a great place to take a break. Here you will find covered picnic tables, restrooms, water and vending machines for your convenience.

This historic landmark is on the northwest fork of the Loxahatchee River and you'll pass by the site during your Jonathan Dickinson State Park paddling trip.

Trapper NelsonFrom the 1930s until his death in 1968, Vincent Nostokovich, AKA Trapper Nelson lived on the Loxahatchee River and built his camp and an animal exhibit for tourists there. Known as "Tarzan of the Loxahatchee River", Nelson was a big man, standing 6 foot, 4 inches and 240 pounds.

His subsistence was fishing and selling the furs of animals he trapped. Trapper Nelson was such a local folk icon that tourist boats from West Palm Beach would bring visitors to see the wild man in action wrestling alligators and other critters. Celebrities like Gary Cooper and Gene Tunney along with countless society heiresses visited the jungle hideaway. Trapper Nelson suffered a suspicious end to his life, which still keeps locals and tourists guessing as to what really happened.

After his death in 1968, the state acquired the cabins and surrounding land, preserving them for future generations to enjoy. During your paddling trip you'll be able to visit Trapper Nelson's homestead and picnic under the Chickee (shelter) or take the self-guided tour.

Thanks to Town of Jupiter FL for the photo and information on Trapper Nelson.



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Last update Saturday, April 28, 2012


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