A boardwalk takes visitors across mangrove forests and hammocks of live oaks, cabbage palms, paradise trees, and wild limes to a neatly preserved Atlantic beach. During the summer months, the island is an important nesting area for loggerhead, leatherback and green turtles. They come ashore at night to dig holes in the beach sand where they lay their eggs. The preserve is a favorite for nature students interested in learning about the native flora and fauna of Florida barrier islands.
Visitors come to swim, sunbathe or picnic at the pavilion on the quiet beach. Others make the trip for the great surf fishing. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities.
The park's varied habitats provide excellent opportunities for birding enthusiasts to view many different species of birdlife. The park is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. St. Lucie is also a very good place to see wading birds and shorebirds including great blue herons, brown pelicans, white ibis and the purple plover.
The park is accessible only by private watercraft.
Although no rentals are available, there are miles of tidal creek waiting to be explored with your own kayak or canoe. The nearest launch point is at the end of Cove Road where it meets the Intracoastal Waterway.
There are several good areas for fishing in the park. From the docks: snook, snapper and sheepshead are regularly hooked. From the beach: snook, pompano and bluefish are caught. Offshore, along the reef: *****, snapper and mackerel are regular catches.
All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
A 3,330-foot boardwalk meanders from the dock to the beach. Along the way, you will traverse two coastal hammocks. The skunk-like aroma is from the white stopper, a tropical tree. Some of the common plants observed along the way are live oak, cabbage palm, paradise tree, wild lime and several species of native fern. Along the beach, you will see gray nicker bean, sea grape and federally-listed plants such as the beach star.
An extensive Anastasia rock reef is located just offshore of the park extending 4.7 miles along the coast and up to 1 mile offshore. Depths range from 5 ft. to 35 ft. This reef is the northernmost limit for the ranges of several species of corals found in South Florida. In addition, many species of marine plants and tropical fishes are associated with the reef. No spearfishing is permitted within state park boundaries. Park boundary is marked by yellow buoys and extends 1 mile out from shore and 4.7 miles south of the St. Lucie Inlet. A 'Diver-Down' flag is required by law to be displayed.
You can see a variety of sea life just a few hundred feet from shore. An extensive Anastasia rock reef is located just offshore of the park extending 4.7 miles along the coast and up to 1 mile offshore. Depths range from 5 ft. to 35 ft. Just remember to "take nothing but photos and leave nothing but ripples." No spearfishing is permitted within state park boundaries. A 'Diver-Down' flag must be displayed when snorkeling or diving.
The water temperature varies from the mid to upper eighties in the summer, to mid to lower seventies in the winter. Riptides can occur on days with strong onshore winds. There are no lifeguards on duty. Please swim at your own risk.
Many species of wildlife may be observed at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park, including bobcats, otters, raccoons and more. Morning and late afternoon are the best times to see most wildlife, since that is when they are feeding and most active.
The park provides 2.7 miles of white, sandy Atlantic beach for your enjoyment. Sunbathe, stroll, or just watch the waves wash ashore. From March to October, the beach is an important nesting area for leatherback, green and loggerhead sea turtles. A beach wheelchair is available for reservation and use. Please contact park in advance for reasonable accommodations.
A covered picnic shelter is available with eight picnic tables and two grills for your enjoyment.
Freshwater shower is available at the beach restroom to wash off the salt and sand after a fun day at the beach.
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