Recreation guide to District lands
In this section
Rice Creek Conservation Area
Along Rice Creek Swamp, extending south from State Road (SR) 100 to just south of SR 20 in Putnam County, approximately six miles west of Palatka.
Rice Creek Swamp covers approximately 70 percent of the property. Together with Palmetto Branch, Oldtown Branch and Hickory Branch — which are all just west of the conservation area — the swamp forms the headwaters of Rice Creek, a large tributary of the St. Johns River. The area was an indigo and rice plantation during the 18th century, and most of the uplands were managed as commercial pine plantations before District ownership. The site has a variety of natural communities, including floodplain swamp, flatwoods, dome swamp, floodplain forest and upland mixed forest. The area is also a key parcel for connecting Etoniah State Forest to the Cross Florida Greenway.
The area serves as a wildlife corridor, connecting several large natural areas. Natural community diversity supports Florida black bear, white-tailed deer, turkey, river otter, wood duck and diverse migratory songbirds.
- Hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and primitive camping. more info
- The property includes part of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
- View hunting information.
Restrictions: more info
- Portions or all of the property may be closed during restoration activities.
- Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
- The Florida Trail is for hikers only.
Trailhead parking is on the property’s north end, along SR 100. Entry to the southern end is only possible by foot on the Florida Trail.
For more information:
Contact the District’s Bureau of Land Management at (386) 329-4404, or contact the Florida Trail Association for information on the Florida National Scenic Trail at floridatrail.org.