The Natural Wonders of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
POSTED ON May 25, 2017 - 5000 North Ocean
A very rare and spectacularly beautiful piece of Florida’s southeast coast.
At the northern tip of Singer Island lies the only state park in Palm Beach County, a mere three and a half miles up A1A from Ocean Reef Park or from 5000 North Ocean.
Established in 1989, the park consists of 438 acres that offer shelter and nurture to 22 species of animals and seven species of plants that have been designated as endangered or threatened. The park describes itself as “a very rare and spectacularly beautiful piece of Florida’s southeast coast.” A perfectly truthful statement, those words give no hint, however, of the sense of complete remoteness the visitor feels meandering among the park’s groves and along its almost two mile stretch of Atlantic beach. “Spectacularly beautiful” is no more than a modest way of describing the Florida that greeted its first European visitors 500 years ago.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park gives present-day visitors a glimpse of that long-ago eden and it’s there to be savored again and again. A special treat is the large number of sea turtles that nest along the park’s shoreline. Loggerheads, greens and leatherbacks can all be observed during the months of May through August while the parents and their young are based ashore. Numerous species of wading birds, gulls and pelicans are a constant delight in all directions.
A short distance offshore, Anastasia Limestone Rock Reef was formed about 125,000 years ago and runs the length of the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.
It can easily be visited and explored with nothing more than snorkel gear. The reef lies just north of Florida’s chain of coral reefs.
On the opposite side of the park is the estuary, actually a small cove at the edge of Lake Worth. Here the tides mix saltwater with the fresh water of the lake attracting an uncommon mix of sealife that includes checkered puffers and manatees.
The park offers guided tours, as well as a high-tech treasure-hunt game called “Geocaching” that uses GPS coordinates to help locate hidden “treasure”-a fun way to learn navigation and geography.