Blowing Rocks Preserve beach.
The Blowing Rocks shoot sea spray up to 50 feet in the air © Mike Olliver

Places We Protect

Blowing Rocks Preserve

Florida

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

Map showing closed facilities, including restrooms, trails, showers and some parking areas.
Blowing Rocks Preserve Facilities Closure Map © TNC

Notice of Partial Opening

Beginning Wed Oct 7, 2020 until further notice, Blowing Rocks Preserve is partially open to the public, with a number of restrictions in place for the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the community.

Facilities

Education center, restroom facilities, and west side trails are closed until further notice. (Nearest public restrooms are located at Coral Cove Beach Park, approximately one mile south on Beach Road.)

See more closure and protocol details under the Visit tab.


 

Overview

After five decades of protecting Florida’s great places, The Nature Conservancy 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?

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 lot 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

During this partial reopening, only the east side of the preserve will be open to the public, with parking limited to 17 vehicles (in addition to one accessible parking space) at any given time. The west side of the preserve will be closed until further notice and parking is only available on the east side. Street parking is not permitted, per Town of Jupiter Island policy.

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

Fees

The preserve visitor fee is temporarily waived.

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.

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