Just over a mile each way, Black Rock Trail is easy enough for novice hikers. Because access to the island is free, we recommend going on a weekday or in the early morning on weekends. Parking is limited and may be crowded.
Find the entrance to Black Rock Trail by following the bike path south from the parking lot. Here, the trail is very wide and the path is thankfully shaded. At the fork, keep right.
You’ll emerge just above the shoreline. Here’s the tricky part. Because the shoreline has eroded, there’s no foolproof way to get down there easily. Carefully use the tree roots as footholds as there are no staircases.
Your reward awaits at the coastline. The black rocks you see are actually compressed sand, whose surface changes upon every visit. At low tide, you can walk half a mile in either direction.
Before climbing back to head to your car, look out for fallen, sun-bleached trees. This is Boneyard Beach, one of Florida’s most hauntingly beautiful attractions. This is a preserve, so don’t take anything with you except pictures!