• The Nassau River-St. Johns River Marshes and Fort Clinch State Park Aquatic
Preserves are a unique Florida representative of the "Sea Islands" usually associated with
southern Georgia. A chain of sandy barrier islands, occasional inlets, and a combination of
sounds, rivers, and extensive coastal marshland characterize this area. The preserves
encompass approximately 66,000 acres of open water, marshes, tidal creeks, rivers, and tree
islands. The communities of aquatic and wetland plants within these preserves stabilize
geologic features, create organic material that fuels the estuarine food web, and provide
protected habitat for spawning and juvenile fish development. These areas are also home to
many roosting and nesting water birds. They can also act as buffers to help filter pollutants
and protect upland areas from storm surge. The Florida Department of Environmental
Protection, Office of Coast and Aquatic Managed Areas manage both aquatic preserves. The
aquatic preserves overlap the boundaries of the Timucuan Preserve and some of the state
• Amelia Island State Park: Contact: 904-251-2320
Fees: $1/person entrance fee. Hours: open 24 hours/daily. Beautiful beaches, salt marshes, and coastal maritime forests provide a glimpse of the original Florida. This park is one of the few locations on the East Coast that offers horseback riding on the beach. Fishing is one of the top activities and anglers find the secluded beach a perfect place for surf fishing. Visitors can also stroll along the beach, look for seashells, or watch the wildlife..
• Big Talbot Island State Park is primarily a natural preserve and a premier location for
nature study, bird watching, or photography. The shoreline is unlike any other in Florida.
Centuries of wind and water have eroded the island, creating a 20–foot bluff along the shore.
The parks famous boneyard beach is covered with the skeletons of live oak and cedar trees
that once grew near the ocean. A boat ramp provides access for fishing and touring the salt
marshes. Visitors can picnic on the bluff overlooking the water and then visit the beach to
sunbathe or stroll along the shore. Hikers can walk along one of the park’s two trails and
experience the diverse habitats.
Fees: entrance--$1/person; picnic at Bluff-- $2/vehicle; boating launch fee--$3. Open
daily 8a.m. to sundown and boat ramp is open 24 hours.
• Fort Clinch State Park: Contact: 904-277-7274;
Fees: $5/vehicle (maximum 8 people). A part of the park system since 1935, Fort Clinch is one of the most well-preserved 19th century forts in the country. Although no battles were fought here, it was garrisoned during both the Civil and Spanish-American wars. During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps began preserving and rebuilding many of the structures of the abandoned fort. Daily tours with period reenactors depicting garrison life bring the fort to life for visitors. Sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing are popular activities at the beach. Anglers can fish from the pier or take advantage of excellent surf fishing. Hikers and bicyclists can enjoy a six-mile trail through the park. Self-guided nature trails provide opportunities to learn about and observe native plants and wildlife. Camping available-- Reservations 1-800-326-3521,
Reserve America, $22/night. 6-mile trail for hikers and bicycles.
Open daily 8 a.m. to sundown.
• Fort George Island Cultural State Park: A key attraction is the recently restored Ribault
Club. It was built in 1928 and marketed to wealthy Northerners and the Jacksonville elite. It
was an early attempt to develop Florida’s real estate and tourism potential. The Club faltered
through the Depression and World War II. It was sold several times, used for a variety of
purposes, and finally boarded up and left as a distant reminder of what once was. The
Florida Park Service restored The Club and this historic landmark now serves as a gateway to
the Timucuan Trail. Fees: none. Open daily. Contact: 904-251-2802.
Ribault Club: Fee: none Services: Visitor
Center for Fort George Island, educational exhibits and bookstore open Wednesday –
Sunday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
• Little Talbot Island State Park has more than five miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches,
and is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Northeast Florida. Maritime
forests, desert–like dunes, and undisturbed salt marshes on the western side of the island
allow for hours of nature study and relaxation. The diverse habitats in the park host a wealth
of wildlife. River otters, marsh rabbits, bobcats, and a variety of native and migrating birds
can be seen here. Anglers find excellent fishing in the surf and tidal streams. Bluefish, striped
bass, redfish, flounder, sea trout, and sheepshead are common catches.
Contact: 904-251-2320. Fees: $4/vehicle
(maximum of 8), $3/single occupant; $20/day full service camping. Reservations: 1-800-326-3521, Reserve America.
• Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park is 4,000 acres of contiguous coastal uplands in
Duval County. The uplands protect the water quality of the Nassau and St. Johns Rivers,
ensuring the survival of aquatic plants and animals and providing an important refuge for
birds. Wildlife is abundant and ranges from the threatened American alligator to the
endangered wood stork. Contact: 904-696-5980. Fees: none. Open daily
8a.m. to sundown. Features of the park include 5 miles of multi-use trails for equestrian,
hiking, off-road biking. Canoe/kayak launch with a 500’ portage from the parking area.
(back to top)
• Alimacani Boat Ramp: is considered an unimproved ramp. It is located near the Ft. George
Inlet, an area notorious for shifting shoals and strong currents. Currently it is used primarily
by jet skiers, kayakers, and small jon boats wanting to access the tributaries to the north and
• Betz Tiger Point Preserve: The 548-acre preserve is part of the Timucuan Trail State and
National Parks partnership and is open to the public for walking, biking, horseback riding,
and enjoyment of the natural setting.
• Dutton Island Park and Preserve: Hours: sunrise to sunset. No fee.
• Huguenot Memorial Park: is approximately 314 acres and includes the Alimacani boat
ramp. The majority of the site is comprised of beaches and dunes. A sand spit peninsula
along the Atlantic Ocean has been designated as a Critical Wildlife Area by the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is considered to be a premier birding site.
• Palms Fish Camp Boat Ramp: Hours; sunrise to sunset. No fee. Parking is limited.
• Thomas Creek Preserve: The park is part of the Timucuan Trail State and National Parks
partnership and is jointly managed by the City of Jacksonville and the St. John's River Water
Management District. The 1,498-acre park is open to the public for enjoyment of the natural
setting and access to the creek, which is a tributary of the Nassau River. Open: 24 hours
daily. Fee: none.
(back to top)
• The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is managed by the National Park Service,
and is named for a Native American tribe that once inhabited the area. The 46,000-acre
preserve encompasses wetlands, upland forests, and historic sites. Paddling trails for day trips
are available in the preserve. To learn more go here.
• Kingsley Plantation: An area of the Timucuan Preserve. Fees: None. Open daily 9:00
– 4:45, free admission. 904-251-3537. Kingsley Plantation is the oldest standing
plantation in the state of Florida, dating back to 1792. A Sea Island cotton plantation
where slave labor was done according to the “task system.” Remains of 23 of the original
slave cabins stand today. Self-guided tours or scheduled guided interpretive tours with
rangers are available. Book sales, bathrooms and drinking water are available.
(back to top)
• Machaba Balu Preserve: the preserve is located within the vast estuary that stretches
between the St. Johns River and Nassau Sound in northeast Florida. The tidal salt marsh
and over 76 maritime hammock, pine and shell islands look much the same today as they
did over four hundred years ago when Europeans first settled here. Machaba Balu’s
9,500 acres of marshes and islands support many rare plants and animals, including
roseate spoonbills, wood storks, painted buntings, manatees and sea turtles. The name
Machaba Balu, Timucuan for saved or preserved marsh, honors the cultural and historical
significance of the preserve’s location. The preserve is situated adjacent to and within
many other protected lands and is a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail's (East
Section) "Gannett Cluster" sites. The area is well-suited for exploration by kayak and
canoe and is part of The Conservancy’s St. Marys River/ Sea Islands Program. Camping
is not permitted.
• To contact the local NEFL Program staff, please call 904-598-0004. Located at 45 West
Bay Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202
(back to top)
• For information on Pescatello Island
24 Cathedral Place, Ste 310
Saint Augustine, FL 32084-4465
Phone: (904) 827-9870 Fax: (904) 246-9441
(back to top)