Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Logo
A pelican soars over the ocean. (Photo by Celeste McWilliams) An osprey grasps the catch of the day in its talons. (Photo by Dominick Martino) A sea turtle hatchling makes its way to the water. Kayaking is a popular pastime at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park.
St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
A flock of seagulls and terns feed along the shoreline at St. Lucie Inlet.

History and Culture

Opened to the public in 1969, the park preserves one of the few undeveloped barrier islands on Florida's east coast. The park is comprised of 10 distinct natural communities including beach dune, coastal strand, maritime hammock and tidal swamp. An extensive Anastasia worm reef is located offshore and extending 4.7 miles along the coast. This reef is the northernmost limit for the ranges of several species of corals found in South Florida.

The beach at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park.

The Beach

Accessible by private boat only, the beach area of the park is the focus of recreational activities at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park. Activities include swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sunbathing, fishing, picnicking, hiking and nature appreciation. This barrier island became a state park in 1965.

The beach and Atlantic Ocean can be seen here through sea oats gone to seed.

Sea Oats

Sea oats are a protected species because they hold the dunes together, preserving fragile beach habitat.

A kayaker paddles in the entrance to Hole in the Wall Lagoon.

Kayaker

The waters around St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State are perfect for a day of kayaking.

A spadefish is surrounded by sergeant majors on the reef tract at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park.

Reef Tract

An extensive Anastasia rock reef is located just offshore of the park extending 4.7 miles along the coast and up to one 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.

Wading birds feed on the sandbar at the entrance to Hole in the Wall Lagoon.

Wading Birds

The park's varied habitats provide excellent opportunities for birding enthusiasts to view many different species of birds. The park is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. St. Lucie Inlet Preserve is a good place to see wading birds and shorebirds, such as great blue herons, brown pelicans, white ibis and the purple plover.