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Rice Creek Conservation Area


5,061 acres.


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.

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 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.

Wildlife Viewing Hiking Horseback Riding Biking Camping Hunting
Recreational activities:
  1. Hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and primitive camping. more info
  2. The property includes part of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
  3. View hunting information.
Restrictions: more info
  1. Portions or all of the property may be closed during restoration activities.
  2. Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
  3. 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 Resources at 386-329-4404, or contact the Florida Trail Association for information on the Florida National Scenic Trail at


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