SJRWMD slide 1 SJRWMD slide 2 SJRWMD slide 3 SJRWMD slide 4 SJRWMD slide 5 SJRWMD slide 6
SJRWMD logo for print -


Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area


20,862 acres.


In the southwest corner of Indian River County between State Road (SR) 60 and the Florida Turnpike, approximately 20 miles west of Vero Beach.


This area contains a mosaic of wetland and upland communities. The marsh area represents the southernmost reach of the St. Johns River’s headwaters. The area was acquired as part of the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project, undertaken jointly by the district and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The diversity of plant communities has been shaped by both people and nature. Natural communities include dry prairie, pine flatwoods, hardwood swamp and freshwater marsh.

Wildlife viewing:

Please respect Florida’s wildlife and use caution while visiting district lands. These are wild animals. For your safety, do not approach or feed any wild animal. The diverse habitats support Florida sandhill cranes, wood storks, caracara, bald eagles, deer, turkey and a large population of feral hogs.

Wildlife Viewing Hiking Fishing Horseback Riding Biking Group Camping Canoeing Canoe Launch Boating Boat Ramp Hunting
Recreational activities:
  1. Activities include hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, bicycling, primitive camping at designated sites, wildlife viewing, canoeing, environmental education and seasonal hunting. more info
  2. A boardwalk provides an opportunity to hike through a hardwood swamp to reach Hog Island for trails and primitive camping.
  3. A picnic pavilion and picnic tables are located adjacent to Horseshoe Lake.
  4. Horseback riding is not allowed on levees.
  5. Vehicle access beyond Lake Cara is by permit only.
  6. View hunting information.
Restrictions: more info
  1. Off-road vehicles (including motorcycles and all-terrain or track vehicles) are not allowed on property.
  2. Access during special-opportunity hunts is limited to persons in possession of a special-opportunity permit.
  3. A day use permit is required to access the property by vehicle past the Lake Cara gate. The following will be required for issuance of the permit: name, address, telephone number, and vehicle make, model and license plate number. You may call the district’s Bureau of Land Resources at 386-329-4404 with the information and a permit will be mailed to you.
  4. A camp permit is also required and is separate from the day use permit. You may call the same phone number to request a camp permit.

From I-95, exit at SR 60, go west on SR 60 to the “20-Mile Bend.” Access is located 10.9 miles west of County Road 512 and 10 miles east of Yeehaw Junction.

For more information:

Call the district’s Bureau of Land Resources at 386-329-4404.


In this section
More about


Governing Board meetings
Please see agendas for specific meeting times, which may differ monthly.

Lobbyist registration requirements

Other district meetings and notices

Central Florida Water Initiative

Tell us how
we are doing.

Take our survey on
customer service.

By accessing this site, you agree to accept terms and conditions of the district’s liability disclaimer.

Employee Portal

St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922