North of Fort Pierce Inlet along A1A, Avalon State Park is just out of reach of the slight buzz of tourism that’s settled at Florida’s prime surfing spot.
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Location: North Hutchinson Island
Length: 3.2 mile round-trip
Trailhead: 27.5363, -80.3160
Address: SR A1A North, North Hutchinson Island
Fees: $2 per vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist
Restroom: at the beachfront parking area
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM until sunset daily. Leashed pets welcome, but not on the beach.
From SR 68 and US 1 in Fort Pierce, drive north along A1A for 8 miles, passing Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, the Navy Seal Museum, and Jack Island. Beach parking is on the right.
About the Park
While the beach is the main draw at Avalon State Park, the park itself spans the island between the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean.
Picnic pavilions are located at the beach parking area, along with the restrooms.
South of the beach parking area is a separate trailhead for the Avalon Nature Trail, on the west side of A1A.
Less than a half mile out, it leads to an observation platform on the Indian River Lagoon, where egrets and herons may be nesting in the mangroves.
The trail continues north along the edge of the island, offering good birding and a place to fish. It’s 1.6 miles to Blue Hole Point, or a 3.2-mile round trip.
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
A cluster of mangrove islands in the Indian River Lagoon, Jack Island Preserve is a perfect destination for birding
When the waves start crashing at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, surfers command the beach. Offshore shoals beat the surf to froth, and the wind coming past Dynamite Point creates just the right cocktail for South Florida surfing.
In pine flatwoods and scrub along the Indian River Lagoon, D.J. Wilcox Natural Area features the ghost town of Indrio along its 2.3-mile loop