Snorkel at Blue Heron Bridge
Florida › Phil Foster Park
Added by Peter Hoblitzell
This stunning underwater adventure is just outside of downtown West Palm, and well within the surrounding metropolitan area. It's hard to believe that this submerged playground featuring octopus, seahorses, shopping carts, shipwrecks, and sunken shark statues is literally...right under the bridge.
Phil Foster Park has a large parking lot, but on weekends or during peak hours looking for a spot can get competitive, so leave yourself a little extra time to meet your target "in the water" time. If you're like me and you don't have your own snorkel gear, rentals are available from the Force-E Diving Center in the back of the parking lot. Mask and fin rentals were $20, and they let us hold on to them overnight and bring them back the next day anytime during normal business hours, which was pretty sweet because we scored two afternoons of snorkeling for $20... not bad.
Even if you bring your own gear, a trip into the dive center is worth the time. You can take a look at maps of the underwater snorkel trail and stash your car keys and wallet in the shop also. Underwater visibility is said to be best around high tide (about an hour or so before and after). Once you hit the water, the rest is history. This place is loaded with underwater features and really impressive marine diversity. Octopus have been popular sightings on the western end of the trail, among huge starfish, urchins, and more. The shopping carts are a straight shot off of the beach in front of the picnic/playground area. The carts have been converted into some great habitat and were one of my favorite features to explore. To the east of the carts are some limestone reefs and concrete structures. The sunken Hammerhead statues can be tough to find but can be discovered by tracking just west of the shopping cart garden. In this same area is one of two sunken boats, which has been colonized by countless forms of aquatic life. When I was there I spotted a Horseshoe Crab hanging out on the gunnels. I found the most biodiversity at and just around the carts on the snorkeling trail. The pylons beneath the bridge on the western side house some magnificent looking fish as well, including some barracuda and large angelfish. Stick to the trail, or don't... the great thing about the Blue Heron Bridge is that you can go at your own pace and explore whatever you want. When it's this easy to immerse yourself in one of the nation's most beautiful underwater environments... there's no excuse to pass it up!
Chillin, Diving, Fishing, Fitness, Photography, Stand Up Paddle, Swimming
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