St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District
St. Johns River Water Management District - www.sjrwmd.com

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Recreation

Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area

Size:

4,900 acres.

Location:

The conservation area is located directly north of Silver Springs State Park in Marion County

Description:

The district partnered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Conservation Trust for Florida (CTF) to purchase this conservation land from Rayonier Inc. in 2015. The property provides a buffer where forests capture rainwater to recharge the aquifer and augment the flow of nearby Silver Springs. The purchase also protects the headwaters of Half Mile Creek and an unnamed tributary that flow into the Silver and Ocklawaha rivers, which are designated as Outstanding Florida Waters. The tract includes 378 acres of wetlands along these two creeks. Other benefits of the property include reducing nitrate loading into springs and rivers, allowing for hydrologic restoration that will result in water quality improvement, and creating opportunities for water storage. The property links Indian Lake State Forest, Silver Springs State Park, the Cross Florida Greenway and district-managed lands to the Ocala National Forest. Natural communities on the property range from flatwoods to hydric hammock and bottomland forest. Most of the uplands on Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area are currently in pine plantations. A portion of the funding used to acquire this property came from the Forest Legacy Program, a joint federal and state government initiative with the goal of promoting sustainable forestry practices, and protecting natural, cultural and recreational resources.

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 commonly seen on the property include Florida black bear, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, raccoon and bobcat. Birding can be quite rewarding, particularly in the bottomland forests during fall and spring migration.

Wildlife Viewing Hiking Horseback Riding Biking
Recreational activities:
  1. Hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing, wildlife viewing and nature study.
Restrictions: more info
  1. Off-road vehicles (including motorcycles and all-terrain or track vehicles) are not allowed on property.
Access:

There are three entrances to this property.

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