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Although it has no coral reefs, the Blue Heron Bridge/Phil Foster Park snorkeling spot is one of the most fascinating in Florida. Its seagrass beds and artificial reefs are indeed home to exceptional sea life. In addition to sheltering many reef fish like angelfish, stingrays, barracudas, this spot is renowned for its many critters. At the Blue Heron Bridge you will see cowfish, pipefish, and shrimp along with frogfish and seahorses, which can be spotted at shallow depths.

Phil Foster snorkeling trail from Blue Heron Brigde
The snorkeling trail seen from the bridge.

How To Get To The Blue Heron Bridge Snorkeling Spot

The Phil Foster Park is located in Riviera Beach, near West Palm Beach. It sits at the foot of the Blue Heron Bridge, which connects Singer Island to the mainland. The site is very well signposted if you arrive by car, and ample free parking is available on site.

Phil Foster Park is easily reached on foot from Riviera Beach, which is about a half mile walk. The park has restrooms and showers.

Blue Heron Bridge - Phil Foster Park snorkeling map

Water Entrance For Snorkeling Blue Heron Bridge

The snorkeling spot, which includes the snorkel trail, is located south of the Phil Foster Park, on the edge of the bridge. You can get in the water wherever you want from the gently-sloping sandy beach.

Blue Heron Bridge Snorkeling Exploration Tips

You can snorkel in the entire boat exclusion zone, which is marked out by cylinder-shaped buoys. You can also snorkel beyond the small round white buoys that limit the swimming area.

The Phil Foster Park site is known for its snorkel trail, which includes a series of small artificial reefs, sculptures and a shipwreck (6-18ft/2-6m). A few corals, sponges and gorgonians grow on the reefs, around which stretch sandy and grassy seabeds.

Striated frogfish at Blue Heron Bridge
A pair of striated frogfish encountered next to the concrete anchor of a buoy.

Although it has no coral reefs, this spot supports exceptional underwater life. While snorkeling above the seagrass beds, you will have a good chance of encountering yellow stingrays, several species of cowfish and boxfish, spotted scorpionfish, pearly razorfish, pipefish, as well as the iconic striated frogfish, which blends perfectly with the seabed.

Reef fish around concrete blocks at Blue Heron Bridge
The artificial reefs (here, concrete blocks) attract many fish.

Underwater life is also abundant around the artificial reefs, among which many fish find shelter. You are likely to see sergeant majors, several species of grunts, wrasse, and damsels. Phil Foster Park is a great spot to see angelfish, especially blue angelfish and gray angelfish.

Lined seahorse on a rope at Blue Heron Bridge
A lined seahorse attached to the rope of one of the white buoys.

Phil Foster Park is also renowned for its communities of lined seahorses, which are relatively easy to see at shallow depths. They are often found clinging to the ropes of the white buoys that delineate the swimming area, or to the sargassum that periodically floats on the surface of the water. More rarely, they can be found in seagrass beds, and even in open water. It is forbidden to touch or handle seahorses, so keep that in mind.

Blue angelfish at Blue Heron Bridge
A blue angelfish.

This spot, located in an inlet, is much more sheltered than the ocean and generally offers good snorkeling conditions. Considered one of the best shore snorkeling sites in Florida, the Blue Heron Bridge is best to visit about two hours before high tide when the current offers the best visibility. You can check tide tables here NOAA Tide Predictions before you go. 

Restaurants And Accommodation Nearby

There is no option to eat or have a drink in the park, but many restaurants are located at Riviera Beach, a 750m walk away.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaPhil Foster Park
  • Maximum depth18ft/6m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardYes
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.