Turtle Trail Beach is a small yet beautiful spot in between Sebastian and Vero Beach in east-central Florida. It is administered by the Indian River County Parks Division. Part of the ‘Treasure Coast,’ silver coins from a Spanish galleon that sank nearby in the early 18th century still sometimes wash ashore here!
This site is shoreline with access to and from the beach via a boardwalk through a small mangrove forest that buffers the space from the upscale residential area surrounding it. It’s a native habitat to several plant species including coral bean and east coast dune sunflower, and home to wildlife such as sea turtles, sanderlings, and Portuguese man o’ war. Sea turtle nesting season runs from March 1 – October 31. Disturbing turtles or their nest sites is illegal.
I visited here in May 2017 with local guide Panda. Like Ocean Ridge Hammock Park further south, I would never have found this awesome spot on my own. It was a late afternoon weekday, and there were only a few other people here. There is a very small free lot available for public parking. Park hours are 7am to sunset. Be advised that there are no lifeguards on duty at this site. Make sure to check the Parks Division website for information regarding closures and other alerts. Hurricanes Irma and Matthew did substantial damage to this area in late 2017, including washing away around 70% of the marked turtle nests on Indian River County beaches, and Turtle Trail Beach was scheduled for temporary closure in February 2018 for sand dune repair.
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