A Natural Beauty on Jupiter Island
One of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural stretches of shoreline in all of Florida, is Blowing Rocks Preserve, on Jupiter Island, just south of Hobe Sound and north of Jupiter.
In 1969, residents of Jupiter Island donated 73 acres of intact beach, dune and reef habitat, so that future generations would be able to appreciate a disappearing type of ecosystem.Owned and carefully stewarded by the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the main attraction is the shoreline geological formation for which it’s named. The preserve also includes lush tropical hammocks, mangroves and tawny beaches.
About the Rocks
The largest outcropping of Anastasia rocks in Florida rises like a line of copper shields confronting the Atlantic. Here, waves, wind and scouring sands have long worked to reveal the reef substrate of southeast Florida’s barrier islands, which were created as sea levels dropped about 125,000 during the Pleistocene Epoch.
Once exposed, mineral elements cemented together sand, fossils and shells into rock. As a result, South Florida beaches are veneers of sand over rock substrate also known as “Coquina.”
A photographer’s dream
What a place to capture a unique intersection of and land, sea and sky! Soft morning and evening light lends a golden cast to the rock bluffs. When there’s a swell running, the bluffs repel sapphire-blue waves that explode into rainbow-reflecting spray.
Especially at high tide, seawater forces its way up through erosion holes that constrict the waves into geysers jetting as high as 50 feet above the craggy rocks.
Snorkeling and Diving
The Atlantic has reclaimed and covers some of the rocks, and those submerged reefs, called “nearshore hardbottom,” are federally designated as Essential Fish Habitat and as a Habitat Area of Particular Concern. The shallow, intertidal and submerged reefs teem with marine life, offering amazing snorkeling, especially on calm days in the spring and summer.
These reefs support at least 257 species of fishes, three species of sea turtle, and 533 invertebrates, including corals.
You may also bump into sea turtles, harmless nurse sharks and tarpon with their silver-dollar scales shimmering in the sunlight. The best snorkeling is accessed from the south end.
Scuba divers swim out from the beach to deeper reefs that host brilliant corals, goliath groupers and big stingrays, among myriad other marine life.
Anglers love the structure and vista provided by the reefs. The elevation offers unique and exciting sight-fishing opportunities. Anglers cast spoons for bluefish and Spanish mackerel, especially in the fall and winter months.
Visitors enjoy three interpretive hiking trails through the hammocks, including a 40-minute guided nature walk each Sunday morning at 11am. The “Tides of Life” exhibit, in the Hawley Education Center, is open daily free of charge.
The bluffs offer a good vantage to watch sea birds. Frigates, terns and gannets patrol the teeming waters in search of food. Ospreys also nest in the area. Sandpipers, rusty turnstones and sanderlings dapple after crustaceans that thrive in the beach sands. Migrating warblers winter in the hammocks. Blowing Rocks is indeed a special place where you may encounter an amazing diversity of wildlife.
Visit Blowing Rocks Preserve at 574 Beach Road in Hobe Sound. For more information on the finest homes in the Palm Beaches, contact a Tauber Real Estate Services specialist at 561-626-4633.