This Limestone Shoreline in Florida Looks Like it Should Be in Maine. And Now is a Good Time to See It

L. Cane

When you picture a Florida shoreline, you likely picture white sand beaches with turquoise waters. It's unlikely that you picture a rocky, shoreline covered in limestone. But there's a Conservancy in Florida that offers a shoreline exactly like this. And winter is a great time to see its unique beauty.

About Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island: Located on the Atlantic coast between Melbourne and West Palm Beach, Jupiter Island is in Martin County.

Blowing Rocks Preserve is named after what happens during high tide when stormy waves hit the limestone shore. The rocks appear to "blow" or spew water. It can be an awe-inspiring display of water shooting as high as 50 feet into the air between the rocks.

The rocks are made from limestone and they are the largest outcrop of Anastasia limestone on the U.S. Atlantic coast. No one is sure why so large an outcrop is sitting on top of the ground. (One theory is that they are part of of an exposed reef.)

The Preserve is run by the Nature Conservancy and it's kept wild and untamed. As a result, drinks and foods are not allowed on the preserve. So you'll get a taste of what Florida beaches looked like before development took over some areas.

When is the Best Time to See the Water Crash Over the Rock?: Many believe that winter is the best time to see the preserve since you're more likely to have rough seas and "crashing" action.

However, it's always prudent to go during high tide, if possible. (You can check the tide schedule here.) It is even better if you can go on a windy, stormy day if you are looking for a show over the rocks.

That said, the beach is lovely at low tide if seeing the waves crash over the rocks doesn't interest you as much as an untouched beach.

What Else is There to Do on Blowing Rock Preserve?: The Preserve offers five somewhat short but picturesque hiking trails. They are:

  • Beach Trail, which allows exploration through a maritime hammock environment with access to the beach.
  • Dune Trail, which takes you through a beach dune and offers lovely views of the coastline.
  • Lagoon Route takes you along the Indian River Lagoon beachfront before approaching a saline marsh.
  • Pollinator Garden offers views of grasses, shrubs, and blooming plants.
  • Mangrove Boardwalk takes you down a boardwalk where you can see a mangrove forest and the Indian River Lagoon.

Water Activities: It is possible to enjoy careful water activities such as swimming and snorkeling at the Preserve, but it is important to know that there is no lifeguard on duty.

Cost and Location: While parking is free, the Preserve asks for a $2 per person donation to help defray costs. The preserve is located at 574 S Beach Rd, in Hobe Sound, Florida.

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