During World War II, the U.S. Navy used this site as a top-secret training ground. The Navy used the area to hone the skills of their landing craft crews and to develop their newest type of soldier, the Frogmen, who would later become the Navy SEALs.
In 1943, beach obstacles were placed in the offshore water. Frogmen would dive to locate these hazards as an exercise they would later use in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Swimmers, snorkelers and surfers should be cautious of submerged concrete and steel hazards along the Atlantic shoreline.
This area was called "The Pines" by Fort Pierce residents who loved the beach for its beautiful views of the Atlantic and for its seclusion. By the 1990s, the area was threatened by development. The state of Florida purchased the land stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian River Lagoon and established a new state park.
Avalon State Park opened in the mid-1990s, offering unequaled views of the Atlantic Ocean, great fishing and all the amenities for a day at the beach. Birding enthusiasts can hike to the Indian River Lagoon and enjoy the increasingly rare coastal hammock. A truly idyllic spot, Avalon offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a Florida beach like no other.
In 2004, hurricanes Frances and Jeanne hit Avalon State Park just three weeks apart. The ocean surge devastated the northern section of the park, destroying the paved parking area and the facilities. The dune plants and much of the beach area were washed away.
After the storms of 2004, restoring Avalon was complicated and difficult. Avalon's boardwalks and ramps had been damaged beyond repair and had to be removed. More than a foot of sand and debris covered the parking area and filled the facilities.
Park Rangers Tom Loveridge and Hugh O'Dare received a Davis Productivity Award for their clean-up and restoration efforts. Within a year, thousands of sea oats were planted.
Today, Avalon State Park is one of the most beautiful beach parks on the Atlantic Ocean.