Blowing Rocks Preserve

Date Visited: 12/09/2020 & 12/17/2021

As we left Jonathan Dickinson State Park in 2020, we had one more place we wanted to stop on our way to the Everglades National Park.

Running along the east coast of Florida is Anastasia Limestone formation. We witnessed a small portion of this limestone outcropping during our trip to Washington Oaks State Park in 2019.

The formation runs from St. Augustine to Boca Raton along the east coast of Florida. The outcropping at Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island is the largest outcropping on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. Since Florida is mainly known for long stretches of sandy beaches, we thought a visit to Blowing Rocks Preserve would present us with the opportunity to form a new perspective of what makes up a Florida Beach. We were also on a quest to photograph the grand waterspouts produced by the right combination of high tides and rough seas.

The preserve, established in 1969 and owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), encompasses 73 acres of reclaimed coastal habitat that is filled with biodiversity. The formation protected by the preserve is some 125,000 years old and since it is usually underground or underwater, the preserve offers an opportunity to experience the coquina up-close and personal.

We walked along the 1-mile stretch of shoreline exploring sea caves at low-tide and trying to capture the awe-inspiring geysers that blow up through “blow holes” during our return trip at high tide. And although the tide was not exactly perfect during either visit, we had a great time exploring the area.

The preserve is also a critical nesting area for Loggerhead, Green, & Leatherback turtles from March- October each year, during the summer months the formation is largely covered with sand making the best time to visit during the winter months when more of the formation has been uncovered by higher winds and rougher seas, not to mention that there is less chance of disturbing this important nesting habitat, although much care is taken every year by TNC to locate, identify, and protect these nests.

We made both our trips during winter months hoping for the best but prepared to be let down. For it is only if the tide is right and the winds are high and coming from the right direction, that the rough seas produce waterspouts that reach as high as 50′. I imagine that would be quite a sight to see.

Unfortunately, we didn’t witness any spouts of that size, but we were able to see a few small ones as they boiled and splashed through the holes in the rock.

If you decide to give the preserve a go, make sure to walk through the sea grape tunnels and take in the breathtaking beauty of the dappled light while listening to the lapping (or crashing) waves along the shore. We spotted several West African Rainbow Lizards (agamas) sunning on the sands and hiding in the sea grapes. These are not a native species, but their presence was a welcome site for us lizard lovers as we have two rather large color morph iguanas at home ourselves.

There is a larger trail that takes you along the beach, across the road, and along the river though changing landscapes with beautiful scenery and interpretive signage identifying the various flora and fauna you will find along the way. If you have the time, it’s a nice walk and doesn’t take much time.

After two attempts to catch the waterspouts, we probably will not visit again. But we are glad we made this stop on our way to the Everglades.

Below you will find two videos (one from each trip to the preserve) if you care to take a virtual tour of the shoreline and a portion of the sea grape tunnels.

This is a more recent video filmed in 2021.

Here is a virtual slideshow our first trip to blowing rocks in 2020.

We hope you enjoyed. Take care. We’ll see you next week.

Blowing Rocks Preserve
574 S Beach Rd 
Hobe Sound, FL 33455

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