2021 Park Ranger Guided Turtle Walks
Where do we meet? The Sebastian Fishing Museum.
Directions to meeting location: The Sebastian Fishing Museum is located on the south side of the Sebastian Inlet Bridge. Enter Sebastian Inlet State Park’s “south side.” The Sebastian Fishing Museum is connected to the south ranger station. The Sebastian Fishing Museum is seven miles north of County Road 510 and 18 miles south of State Road 192. The address is 14257 North A1A, Vero Beach, FL, 32963.
Do I have to pay to entry the park? No, if you arrive after 8:30 PM, tell the toll collector that you are here for the sea turtle walk and they will allow free entry.
What time should I arrive? Please arrive no later than 8:45 pm as the program starts at 9 pm.
What should I bring? You will want to wear comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. Definitely bring insect repellent. You may want to consider wearing long pants and sleeves, if you are not tolerant of mosquitoes and no-see-ums. You may want to bring water for this up to 2 mile turtle walk. Dark clothing is preferred to minimize the impact on nesting sea turtles.
How long might I walk on the beach during the turtle walk? We may walk up to 2 miles to the nesting sea turtle. That’s a mile in either direction. Everyone must be in fair physical condition. Our beach is an isolated area, so once you start on the turtle walk you are basically committed.
What happens if we do not see a sea turtle? We generally see turtles on 75% of our turtle walks. We cannot guarantee that a sea turtle will crawl out of the ocean on the evening of your scheduled program. We do not offer refunds for any reason, but all ticket sales directly benefit the Friends of Sebastian Inlet State Park, our sea turtles and our mission.
What if it’s raining? In the summertime, Sebastian Inlet and the rest of Florida have afternoon/evening rains almost daily. The afternoon storms often clear up by 9pm. We will not go on the beach if there is lightning or heavy rain. We have only cancelled a handful of times in the last 40 years but we will not make that decision until that evening. You can get an update by calling 772-388- 2750. We will go on the beach if there is only a light rain with no lightning. Sea turtles will nest in the rain, so you may want to bring raingear but no umbrellas please. Don’t let cloudy skies and a little rain scare you off, especially our typical 4 to 8 PM thunderstorms that occur all summer long here.
How does the program work? The program begins with a sea turtle PowerPoint presentation at 9:00 PM, please arrive early. Scouts will go out on the beach to locate a turtle during the PowerPoint presentation. If the scouts find a turtle everyone will go directly to the turtle’s location when the presentation is complete. We may walk up to 2 miles to a nesting loggerhead sea turtle. You will need your own transportation.
How long is the program? The program is officially scheduled from 9pm to 1am. The exact duration of the program from night to night varies depending on when and if we see a sea turtle and the speed the group walks down the beach.
Can I bring a flashlight? Yes, but it can only be used on the trail leading to the beach. Flashlights cannot be used on the beach. No flashlights may be used while on the beach.
Can I take pictures? Flash photography is prohibited / participants with infrared cameras may film or photograph the egg deposition or the turtle retuning to the water.
What is the best time to see a nesting loggerhead sea turtle? Our turtle walks are scheduled in June and July which is during the height of loggerhead nesting in Florida. There is no relationship between sea turtle nesting activity and the phase of the moon, the weather, or the tides. All scheduled Turtle Walk nights have the same odds of the group seeing a sea turtle nesting.