Natural resources have been so carefully protected in Vero Beach, Fellsmere and Sebastian that our extensive park system and special ecological wonders delight both young and old. With “water, water everywhere” and 26 miles of pristine ocean beaches, Indian River County is an eco-tourist’s dream. Kayaking and canoeing through protected preserves offer a uniquely serene experience. Spend a day fishing in the river or ocean. Explore a different park every day of the month. The opportunities are boundless. The Indian River Lagoon is the most environmentally diverse estuary in North America. Exploring by kayak or canoe allows up-close views of the magnificent wildlife. The Sebastian River is another favored destination, with miles of lush jungle waterways.
Airboat Wilderness Rides
Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Blue Cypress Lake
This magnificent lake is approximately seven miles long and three miles wide with 21miles of shoreline surrounded by 29,000 acres of marshes, swamps and cypress forests. It’s a place of complete surrender to Mother Nature as blue skies give way to blue-hued water which some say occur because of the reflection of the Blue Cypress trees on the lake as the morning sun rises into the sky. The lake is also a top Osprey nesting site reporting over 200 nests along the shoreline.
Kayaking and canoeing up close to see Osprey nests in the wild and to marvel at the 130-foot tall cypress trees make this worth a trip. But when you can also spot American Alligators, bald eagles, and fish including largemouth bass crappie, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and more; Blue Cypress Lake becomes an outdoor Shangri-La. Middleton’s Fish Camp is the only one of its kind on the lake and they are happy to provide eco-tours and fishing.
Capt. Bob’s Airboat Adventure Tours, Inc.
Captain Forster Hammock Preserve
Dale Wimbrow Park
Environmental Learning Center
FLOC Florida Outdoor Center
Florida Cracker Airboat Rides
Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area
Gator Bait Airboat Adventures
Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Center
Indian River Land Trust
Marsh Beast Airboat Tours
McKee Botanical Garden
McLarty Treasure Museum
Mel Fisher Museum
North Sebastian Conservation Area
Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area
Paddles By The Sea
Pelican Island Audubon Society
Pelican Island National Wild Refuge
Round Island Park
This park has access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. You’re also almost guaranteed to see a manatee! There are trails, boardwalks and an observation tower. This is a favorite spot for locals and visitors to launch their kayaks or canoes. Amenities include ample parking, boat ramp & boat parking, childrens’ playground and two picnic pavilions.
Sebastian Inlet State Park
Don’t Miss the Turtle Walks in June-July!
Reservations: Turtle Walk programs are presented during the months of June and July. Reservations for the month of June begin on May 15 from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Reservations for the month of July begin on June 15 from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Contact the Sebastian Fishing Museum 772.388.2750 for reservations. Turtle Walks at the Sebastian Fishing Museum are limited to 20 guests and are conducted Friday through Tuesday at the Sebastian Fishing Museum.
Sebastian Inlet State Park
Sebastian Inlet State Park is a must have experience while visiting! The park provides fishing from both its Atlantic and Indian River shores; fishing jetties extend from both sides of the inlet into the ocean. Other activities include: swimming, enjoying the water views, world class surfing, camping, bird watching, boating and diving.
Wildlife is abundant in the park, and the casual visitor can see ospreys and many species of shorebird. Sea turtles nest in the park, and visitors during the summer may make reservations for a nighttime tour to observe nesting turtles.
The park also contains two museums: McLarty Treasure Museum and Sebastian Fishing Museum.
St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park
The Lagoon Greenway
This exciting 187-acre property is located at the corner of 8th Street and Indian River Boulevard. It boasts an ecologically diverse three- mile trail system for hiking, jogging or bike riding. Even four legged creatures on leashes are welcome on the property (with careful clean-up by their two legged companions).
Main Trail (under 1/2 mile) This wide trail begins at the trailhead-parking area and travels through oak and palm hammocks, and over two wetlands on its way to the Two-Mile Loop Trail.
Mini-Adventure Trail (under 1/4 mile) This narrow, uneven trail winds through a dense oak and palm forest, bringing you close to the native habitat of “Old Florida.”
Two-Mile Loop Trail This wide, grassy trail will take you around a large mangrove wetland forest, with intermittent views of the beautiful Indian River Lagoon.
Mangrove Boardwalk A 1/4-mile boardwalk extends from the end of the Main Trail to an observation deck on the Indian River Lagoon.
Tiki Kayak Tours
Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail
Treasure Coast Seaplanes
Once the aircraft comes to rest upon the water, step out onto the floats and behold the true Florida beauty very few get to witness. Immerse yourself with the extraordinary. Abundant wildlife abounds at the birthplace of the St. John’s River. From alligators to osprey, Blue Cypress Lake has it all.