Skip to content

Places We Protect

Blowing Rocks Preserve

Florida

Blowing Rocks Preserve beach. with water shooting up through the rocks.
Blowing Rocks During high tide, the waves push water up through the Anastasia limestone rocks, shooting sea spray up to 50 feet in the air! © Mike Olliver

This magnificently restored sanctuary offers a rare window into Florida’s natural history.

The Nature Conservancy in Florida respectfully acknowledges that Blowing Rocks Preserve exists on the ancestral homeland of the Taino, Jeaga, Jobe, Seminole, and Miccosukee peoples, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We extend our respect to the tribal Elders, both past and present, and to all descendants of the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of this land.  

Overview

Description

Notice of Impacts due to COVID-19
: For staff and visitor safety, the Hawley Education Center is temporarily closed to the public. Temporary restrooms are available in the west parking lot.

After five decades of protecting Florida’s great places, TNC considers Blowing Rocks Preserve one of our proudest achievements. This peaceful, barrier island sanctuary is a well-known model for large-scale, native coastal habitat restoration.
 
The ecosystems found here are disappearing fast from many Florida islands, and a number of endangered plants and animals call this special place home—including rare loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles.
 
The preserve was named for its rocky Anastasia limestone shoreline—the largest on the Atlantic coast. During extreme high tides and after winter storms, seas break against the rocks and force plumes of saltwater up to 50 feet skyward. It’s an impressive sight. What exactly are the Blowing Rocks?

Access

Limited Access

Hours

Open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. NOTE: The preserve is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Highlights

Enjoy swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving from the protected beach. Observe rare birds, plants and animals on three hiking trails.

Size

73 acres

Explore our work in this region

Visit

Safety Protocols

TNC strongly recommends that visitors observe social distancing at all times; please keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart from other visitors, staff and volunteers. TNC strongly recommends that face coverings be worn in the parking lots and trails leading to the beach. Face coverings may be removed once visitors are on the beach, while ensuring that social distancing is observed.

Preserve Access and Parking

Blowing Rocks has free on-site parking during the preserve’s open hours. Please note that parking lots close when the preserve closes at 4:30pm. Street parking is not permitted, per Town of Jupiter Island policy.

The Beach Trail, Dune Trail, and Lagoon Loop trail are open. The pollinator garden and Lagoon boardwalk are temporarily closed.

For more information, please email VisitBRP@tnc.org or call 561-744-6668.

Fees

The preserve visitor fee is temporarily waived.

Hours

Open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. NOTE: The preserve is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Preserve Guidelines

Help protect the preserve’s native habitats and wildlife!

  • Pets, alcohol, spearfishing, and picnics are not allowed.
  • Do not collect or release live plants or animals. Do not collect Anastasia limestone rock or other natural resources.
  • Drones, photo shoots, and video shoots are not permitted.

When the Rocks Blow

The beach and ocean conditions at Blowing Rocks Preserve are always changing and might look different each time you visit! Typically, summer months bring calm, clear waters that are excellent for swimming and snorkeling. Winter months tend to bring rough seas and larger waves that cause the “blowing” action, when large waves crash up against the rocks. If you want to time your visit to observe this impressive sight, there are two factors to consider: Is the sea rough or calm? Is it high tide or low tide? Your best chance to observe the “blowing rocks” is to visit on a day with rough seas at high tide. The time of high tide is different each day – you can click here to view the current tide schedule. Please note that our hours of operation do not change depending on the tides.

Plan for an Eco-Friendly Visit

There are many ways to be a friend of nature while exploring the outdoors. Here are some tips to having an environmentally responsible visit.

  • Bring a reusable drink bottle(s).
  • Pack snacks in reusable containers or bags.
  • Charge your camera so you can capture interesting sights, taking only memories and leaving nature intact.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, SPF clothing, sunglasses, and/or reef-safe sunscreen. (Learn more about reef-safe sunscreen and other ways to #RespectOurReef.)
  • Pack in, pack out – if you do have waste, be sure to collect it all to properly dispose of it before leaving or once you have returned home. Bins for recycling and the landfill are available onsite.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife. (It can be dangerous to wildlife if they are fed, touched, chased, or crowded.)
  • Have fun at the beach but be sure to fill any holes and flatten any sandcastles when you’re done to prevent dangers to sea turtles.
  • Before you leave, rinse or brush-off yourself and gear to prevent species from traveling to new habitats.

 

Things to See

Wonder what you’ll see here? Native habitats—including beach dune, coastal strand, swamp and tropical hardwood hammock—are flush with red, black and white mangroves, gumbo limbo trees, Jamaica caper, sea grape, railroad vine, sea oats and much more. Healthy seagrass along the lagoon harbors urchin, blue claw crab and the endangered Florida manatee.

Sea turtles returning to nest on the north beach include loggerhead, green and leatherback. You may spot a number of shorebirds such as the brown pelican, osprey and least tern, as well as fiddler crab and a wide variety of small marine creatures.

Seasonal Wildlife and Plants   

Winter

Ospreys, which can be observed year-round, are especially plentiful during the winter months. Palm, pine and other migrating warblers enjoy the mild winter here, as do a few ruby-throated hummingbirds. The coral bean produces its bright, red tubular flowers, while the wild poinsettia is also in bloom.

Spring

The unusual necklace pod blooms, and plentiful beach sunflowers show their bright yellow blossoms. Butterflies, such as great Southern whites, Cassius blues and skippers flutter about the preserve.

Summer

The mile of Atlantic Ocean beachfront provides important nesting habitat for imperiled sea turtles. At night, female turtles come ashore, climb above the high tide line, dig a hole with their flippers and lay their eggs in nests of sand. On many summer mornings, turtle tracks are clearly visible in the sand. To spot them, look for horizontal tracks in the sand that look like they could have been made by a small bulldozer or tractor tires.

The rocks and worm-rock reefs offshore offer great opportunities for snorkeling or scuba diving as well as occasional sea turtle sightings. 

Please note that sea turtles and their nests are protected by federal as well as state and local laws. If you are fortunate enough to see a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings, please do not touch or otherwise harass them or their nests. 

Fall

A variety of birds migrate through the area, including warblers, offshore pelagic birds, hawks and falcons. Our abundant sea grapes are fruiting, turning out grape-like clusters of berries. 



History

Blowing Rocks Preserve was born in 1969, when far-sighted and generous residents of Jupiter Island donated 73 acres of their island to the Conservancy. Roughly rectangular, the preserve runs for one mile, north to south, from the Atlantic Ocean on the east to the Indian River Lagoon on the west. Today, the restored preserve looks like a South Florida barrier island a century ago. You'll glimpse one of our state’s rarest surviving landscapes: an intact Florida dune habitat with beach sunflower, bay cedar, sea grape and sea oats. TNC staff members share best practices with land managers and owners throughout the region, and collaborate with local, state and federal agencies to restore coastal habitat. Thousands of volunteers have assisted our efforts. 

Blowing Rocks Preserve With 73 acres of meticulously restored native vegetation on a barrier island in Jupiter, Florida, the preserve represents a bridge between our legacy of land preservation and a modern laboratory showcasing the latest innovations in conservation.

Outreach & Education

Subscribe to our eNewsletter

Stay up to date on upcoming preserve events and activities open to the public.

Subscribe

In-Person Programs Update

Most in-person public and private programs are temporarily cancelled due to the impacts of COVID-19. Health and safety conditions are continually being evaluated and we anticipate resuming activities, with modifications as needed, once it is safe to do so. Please check out the opportunities at the bottom of this page and subscribe to our eNewsletter for updates.

 

Virtual Winter Lecture Series

Check out our first ever virtual lecture series!

January 27 – Great American Outdoors Act: A big win for the environment

February 10 – Sharks are Snowbirds Too: Migration of blacktip sharks in Southeast Florida

February 24 – A Bedrock Business Plan: Saving the last of South Florida’s pine rocklands

March 10 – Taking a Closer Look: Harmful algal blooms in the Indian River Lagoon

March 24 – South Atlantic Seascape: Connections between habitats, fish, and people

Learn more and register for the topics that interest you. Each lecture is recorded and available upon request.

Hawksbill sea turtle swims toward the camera in aqua water over a reef.
Juvenile Sea Turtle The Traveling Turtles Trunk Program provides school children the opportunity to learn about sea turtles. © Shane Gross

Traveling Turtles Trunk Program

In partnership with InWater Research Group, Martin County and North Palm Beach County teachers can bring FREE hands-on, experiential conservation education to their classrooms through the Traveling Turtles trunk program. The trunk contains four engaging lessons that take students on a journey through conservation while highlighting the amazing world of sea turtles.  The trunk includes ready-made lessons for both in-person and virtual learning.  For in-person instruction, all you need to do is copy student worksheets!

This program is a great introduction to the sea turtles of Florida. Students will learn about what makes a sea turtle a sea turtle, as well as nesting habits, how to sample a population like real scientists, and how to collect data from their very own sea turtle model. 

Download the Flyer

The flyer provides all the details about this informative educational program.

Download

Trunk Contents:

  •  Skull replicas of the five sea turtles observed in Florida’s waters
  • Corresponding food item for each species
  • 10 individualized model turtles
  • 10 calipers
  • Measuring tapes
  • Scale
  • Lesson binder and jump drive
  • Plus, interactive videos!

Bodies of Knowledge:

  • Life Science
  • Natural Science
  • Physical Science
A trunk containing turtle replicas and educational materials about sea turtles.
Traveling Turtles Trunk The trunk contains turtle replicas and educational materials designed to teach students about sea turtles. © Kate Brown/TNC

Reserve Your Trunk

Submit a request to reserve the Traveling Turtles trunk for your students.

Reserve
The trunk may be rented for up to three weeks with extensions provided when possible.  Sharing is encouraged amongst teachers to maximize student reach.  Borrowing one of our trunks is completely FREE but teachers must read through and acknowledge the responsibilities and requirements prior to registering for the program.

NOTE: Trunk dimensions are 23″ H x 37" L x 23" W and each trunk program weighs up to 60 pounds. Please bring a vehicle large enough for transport and another person to assist with loading and unloading.

During the pandemic, please note the below guidelines and procedures to keep our community and staff as safe as possible. 

  • The trunk may only be picked up or dropped off at Blowing Rocks Preserve Wednesday through Saturday between 9:00am and 4:00pm.
  • Trunk pickup and drop off require that teachers bring an additional person for loading and unloading.
  • Lesson plans have been modified and digitized to support social distancing in the classroom and distance learning.
  • Trunks will be sanitized based on CDC regulations between each reservation.

Blowing Rocks Preserve Virtual Tour

Blowing Rocks Preserve Virtual Tour Join us for a virtual tour of Blowing Rocks preserve, exploring the beach at sunrise, sea turtle hatchlings, a hike along the rocks and the beauty of the underwater world. Video © John Henkelman.

Support Our Work

Your Contributions Help us Continue our Conservation Work in Florida