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Gourd Island Conservation Area


515 acres


The conservation area is located in St. Johns County east of the city of Fruit Cove. The property is immediately north of Russell Sampson Road, and is bound to the east by Interstate 95.


Gourd Island Conservation Area features wetland and upland natural communities, including floodplain swamp, basin swamp, dome swamp, depression marsh, wet flatwoods, mesic flatwoods, sandhill and xeric hammock. The Florida Department of Transportation acquired the property in December 2010 and subsequently donated it to the St. Johns River Water Management District as mitigation for wetland impacts elsewhere. The donation of the property provides significant water resource protection for Durbin and Sampson creeks, which border the property to the north. The property included a JEA (formerly Jacksonville Electric Authority) easement for the installation of a utility pipeline and perpetual maintenance of that pipeline. Completed in 2011, the pipeline is primarily located beneath the main access road, which extends into the conservation area from the parking area and trailhead.

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. Wildlife that may be seen in the area includes gopher tortoise, deer, otter, multiple bird species and the American alligator.

Wildlife Viewing Hiking Biking
Recreational activities:
  1. Activities include hiking, bicycling and wildlife viewing. more info
Restrictions: more info

To ensure public safety and environmental protection, the following are not allowed:

  1. Removal of plants and animals, or archeological or historical/cultural resources
  2. Trapping devices
  3. Off-road vehicles

From I-95, take exit 329 for County Road 210. Turn east (left) onto CR 210 West. Take the first right onto Russell Sampson Road. At the traffic circle, take the second exit, staying left on Russell Sampson Road. The property entrance is on the right. The property is at 10182 Russell Sampson Road.

For more information:

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


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