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Florida State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Region
Saint Lucie Inlet State Park
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4810 S.E. Cove Road
Stuart, Florida   34997

Phone: 772-219-1880
This classic Florida barrier island is accessible only by boat, but it is worth the ride. 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. Located at Port Salerno, on the Intracoastal Waterway, 2/3 of a mile south of the inlet.
Nature of the Area
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 it is when they are feeding and most active. 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 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.
History of the Area
The park was established on May 31, 1952. It spans over a total area of 928 acres. The land is situated between two bodies of water: Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean.

The site has been home to indigenous tribes for thousands of years before European contact. In particular, it served as an important fishing ground for Ais Indians who inhabited this region until the late-18th century.

In modern times, its diverse ecosystems have made it popular among nature enthusiasts and bird watchers alike with more than three miles worth trails winding through mangrove forests and coastal dunes.

It also offers recreational activities such as swimming or picnicking along its pristine beaches while boating facilities are available at nearby Jupiter Island.

Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES web page.
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.
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 turtles.
The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. There are boat ramps available, providing easy access to the waterways and ocean surrounding the area. The waters around this location offer opportunities for both saltwater and freshwater fishing as well as canoeing or kayaking in serene natural surroundings. Boaters can also explore offshore where there's an abundance of marine life including dolphins, manatees, sea turtles among others.

Although no rentals are available, there are miles of tidal creek waiting to be explored with your own kayak or canoe.
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 on the reef: Cobia, Snapper and Mackerel are regular catches. A saltwater fishing license is required.
You can see a variety of sea life just a few hundred feet from shore. Just remember to "take nothing but photos and leave nothing but ripples." A Diver Down flag must be displayed when snorkeling or diving.
Scuba Diving
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.

Saint Lucie Inlet State Park is located near Fort Pierce, Hobe Sound and Jensen Beach

Day Use Area
Freshwater showers are available on the beach side to wash off the salt and sand after a fun day at the beach.
A covered picnic shelter is available with 8 picnic tables and 2 grills, within sight of the beach, for your enjoyment.
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, coin vine and federally-listed plants such as the beach star.
The park offers birdwatchers a chance to spot various species, including wading birds and shorebirds. Birding trails are available for exploration. The area is particularly popular during migratory seasons.

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St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park is located in Port Salerno, on the Intracoastal Waterway, 2/3 of a mile south of the inlet.

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