The Conservancy in Florida considers Blowing Rocks Preserve one of its biggest success stories—a model of large-scale coastal habitat restoration. Paths lead through 73 acres of mangrove swamps, coastal dunes, forests and beaches. The main attraction—and where the preserve gets its name—is the craggy limestone boulders bordering the beach in unusual formations. During rough seas, dramatic plumes of water shoot through crevices in the rock—a thrilling sight for visitors of all ages.
Here are Preserve Director Andrea Graves' tips to help you enjoy Blowing Rocks:
Rock of Ages
“Most of Florida’s coast sits on Anastasia limestone, but to have it exposed as it is here is unique. At low tide, if the sea is calm, you can walk underneath the rocks and search for fossils of ancient clams and oysters.”
“Our Hawley Education Center has a display on sea beans, which are actually seeds from plants as far away as the Amazon that are carried on the currents and wash up on our beaches. They’re like little treasures in different shapes and sizes.”
“In summer, when the ocean gets really flat and the water’s clear, right off our beach is a great place to snorkel. There are submerged rocks where colonies of tube worms form a reef, which attracts different fish species, and juvenile sea turtles that come to feed.”
Learn more about Blowing Rocks Preserve and other great places to take the kids around the country in this feature from Nature Conservancy Magazine. To plan for your visit to Blowing Rocks, please review hours of operation.