H60. St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
Nearest City: Port Salerno/Stuart
Phone Number: 772-219-1880
Features/Amenities: Restrooms, Entrance fee required, Birding by boat, Birding by foot/hiking, Best time of day: All day, Recommended length of visit: all day br>
Habitats: Mangrove Swamp, Hardwoods/Mixed Forest, Marine/Bay, Salt Marsh, Beach/Dune, Coastal Strand
This remote park occupies the northern end of the peninsula (Jupiter Island), which it shares with Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge (site #62). For all its accessibility, though, it may as well be an island, offering one of the most remote beach experiences left in this part of the state. Boardwalks through the mangroves can be good for Mangrove Cuckoos in summer and migrants in fall and winter. The beach is pristine and offers a stark contrast to the development of Hutchinson Island to the north across the inlet. Plovers, gulls and terns use the beach and occasionally, wintering Purple Sandpipers turn up on the northern jetty. The only access for this property is by boat, and there are no nearby concessionaires. Bring your canoe or kayak and launch from the park at the end of SR 722. Paddle the unmarked canoe trail through the mangroves or tie up at the park’s extensive dock. A beautiful place to bird…worth the challenge of getting there.
Directions: From intersection of US 1 and SR 722 (Cove Rd.) south of Stuart, drive 2.5 mi. east on SR 722 to the end. The park is on the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Open year-round, 8 a.m. to sunset.
Location: 27.148845, -80.168655