Spruce Bluff Preserve—Port St. Lucie, Florida

Photographic Guide: History & Nature Come Together at Spruce Bluff Preserve, Port St. Lucie, Florida by Jeff Macharyas

Port St. Lucie isn’t exactly known as a center of history. But, there is one area that is rich in ancient Indian history and of 19th century pioneers. Spruce Bluff Preserve is located in southern Port St. Lucie, in the Southbend Lakes area. There are two paths that loop together onto Lookout Boulevard. To the north is part of the pioneer settlement.

The settlers set up a sawmill nearby and farmed citrus fruit in the 1890s until a hard freeze in 1895 dashed their hopes and sent them packing.

The Ais Indian side is accessible from the south entrance on Dar Road. The trail wends its way through dense forest, over bridges and marshes and culminates at an 18-foot Indian mound. A nest sits high atop the mound, giving it an ominous appearance. The Ais Indians are said to have lived in this area some 2,000 years ago.

The entire journey through Spruce Bluff takes about two hours. Starting on Dar Road, one could go north along an abandoned paved road to the trails leading to the settlers’ gravesite, and then across the street to a small beach overlooking the St. Lucie River. Then, follow Lookout Boulevard back to the entrance and take the trail, heading south, to the Indian mound. Beware of the wildlife. It is not uncommon to encounter snakes, raccoons, squirrels, alligators, and even the odd panther. Of course, mosquitoes inhabit this area as well.

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