If you love the water, then you should make a point of visiting St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park.
Its main attraction is a gorgeous 2.7 km stretch of pristine Atlantic beach which is a haven for those who enjoy fishing, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. The beach is also known as an important nesting spot for turtles who come ashore at night to lay their eggs.
A noted destination for birding too, on account of the park residing within the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, many nature lovers come here to educate themselves about its native flora and wildlife.
There is no camping available at the park, other than that available to organized groups and non-profit youth organizations. But if you are looking for a place to relax, rejuvenate and immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, few places in Florida can compete with this little slice of paradise.
The park provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy its stunning scenery in several different ways.
Outlined below is a brief synopsis of some of the more notable activities you can do during your time there.
Boating at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
If you are into canoeing, kayaking or paddling, there are several tidal creeks located within the park that you can explore.
Showcasing the park’s exquisite natural beauty, you can take to the water at a launching point towards the end of Cove Road. This will easily take you into the Intracoastal Waterway.
Unfortunately there are no rentals at the park, so you will have to bring your own watercraft with you.
Swimming at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
As you would imagine, swimming is a very popular activity at the park.
The water temperature tends to hover in the mid 80s in the summer and around the low 70s in the winter. So you can pretty much swim there all year round.
As the beach is not patrolled by lifeguards, you should exercise caution when you take to the water and always be mindful of rips.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
Located just a mile offshore lies a fascinating Anastasia rock reef.
Running for about 4.7 miles in length it draws scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts from all over Florida.
Ranging in depth from 5 to 35 feet, it is home to several colorful coral, plant and fish species.
If you intend to explore this area be mindful that you will need to display a diver down flag. Spearfishing is also forbidden.
Fishing at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
For those into fishing the park provides excellent opportunities for surf fishing.
You can either choose to do this on the beach, by the docks or from a watercraft offshore. Depending on which method you adopt you might need to procure a Florida fishing license.
However when you do cast a line you can expect to catch a range of different fish species. By the docks snapper, snook and sheepshead are abundant, while from the shoreline bluefish, pompano and snook are found aplenty too.
Offshore by the reef, the likes of mackerel, snapper and cobia can also be regularly snared.
Birding at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
As the park is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, birders from all over Florida come to it to view the varied species that call it home.
With its diverse ecosystems, it accommodates several different breeds. Some of whom reside there permanently, whilst others stop by on a temporary basis during the migratory season.
Depending on the time of year you visit you might be able to spot shore and wading birds like brown pelicans, purple plovers, white ibis and blue herons.
If you are lucky you might also get to see American kestrels, Peregrine falcons and Broad-winged hawks as well.
Nature & Wildlife
In addition to the birds, several species of wildlife can be spotted throughout the park. This includes the likes of otters, raccoons and bobcats.
The best time to view these animals tends to be in the morning or towards the latter part of the afternoon. This is when they feed and are at their most active.
The sands of the beach are an important nesting spot for green, leatherback and loggerhead turtles. At night they come ashore to burrow holes in which they lay their eggs.
Pets at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
Unfortunately pets are not allowed on the beach at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park. So it is best to leave your pooch home if you are thinking of visiting this beautiful public recreational space.
Camping at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
The only camping options available at the park are primitive group camps. These are only for organized non-profit and chaperoned groups.
The site can only be reached by boat. It can accommodate 10 tents and also is fitted with a campfire circle and picnic table.
Just a half a mile from the camp you will find cold water showers and a primitive toilet. If you want to camp here you will have to pack in and pack out everything you need – as well as your garbage.
For those who have a rig, the Port St Lucie RV resort is a good option. It is located in the town of Lucie and provides several sites with hookups for water and electricity.
It has a nice swimming pool guests can use too.
St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
4810 SE Cove Rd
Stuart, FL 34997
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park: