Round Island Riverside Park – Vero Beach, FL

My current love interest remembers this park from when he visited with his family years ago, so when we passed it while traveling south on A1A from Melbourne Beach of course we had to do an abrupt 90 degree turn into the parking lot and humor his nostalgia. Typically I’m the one schooling him about nature spots, but this motherfucker hit me with a table turn and it was quite the treat.  

The park is on the Indian River Lagoon and is one heck of a serene place. There are boat docks with a boardwalk  leading to a small bridge, trails, an observation deck, and a kayak/canoe launch area.  Small boats were going out into the river and around the mangrove islands while a manatee flared it’s little nostrils at the water’s surface. Picturfuckingesque. 

        
My boyfriend has fond memories of watching manatees swim beneath him while standing on this bridge. Real Florida shit. 
 

After sitting on the boat dock for awhile watching a manatee swim about, we crossed the bridge to the trail. There appears to be two trails, one to the right and one straight ahead. We went to the right, which turned out to be cool but leading nowhere. We ducked and dodged around branches through a dead-pine-needle-covered path until we reach the other side of the lagoon then somehow circled back. It felt like we were the only people alive and was ominous as hell.  

     

After we made our way back to the beginning we took the path straight from the bridge and ended up at an observation platform.  

  

I saw a trail that went along the mangroves at the base of the platform but we didn’t do it due to time constraints. Additionally, there’s a trail near the boat docks leading to Round Island South Conservation Area. This section of the park has no bathroom and is more rustic, if you will. The main park has plenty of parking, bathrooms, and picnic benches. Aside from a few people fishing and coming/going on small boats this park was quiet with little human activity. There are no watercraft rentals available but the launch is cute and easy to access for those living the life with their own kayaks. If you like to relax by the water and have manatees poke their heads up near you then hit this shit up. Links:

Round Island Park and the Great Florida Birding Trail
Round Island on Trip Advisor

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