District lands offer a wealth of recreational opportunities

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Hours of operation

Most district lands are open for non-vehicular recreational activities from sunrise to sunset, 365 days per year. Visitors are encouraged to look for signs posted at individual property entrances to determine if maintenance or construction activities may be occurring or when storms may have made conditions unsafe. Notices are also posted on this website.

Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area seasonal wildlife/interpretive drive

The seasonal interpretive drive is open to vehicular access from 8 a.m. to sunset starting the third weekend in February through the end of May on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is open for vehicular access between sunrise and sunset on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays:

  • New Year’s Day — Jan. 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day — Third Monday in January
  • Presidents’ Day — Third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day — Last Monday in May
  • Independence Day — July 4
  • Labor Day — First Monday in September
  • Columbus Day — Second Monday in October
  • Veterans Day — Nov. 11
  • Thanksgiving Day — Fourth Thursday in November
  • Christmas — Dec. 25

Be safe while visiting district lands. Take drinking water and wear insect repellent, as these are wild and remote properties, most without amenities. Also, please check our announcements to learn if a property you plan to visit is open or closed. Some properties sustained damage in the September 2017 Hurricane Irma or are undergoing restoration work and are closed for your safety.

Activities available on district lands

Ramble your way through miles of trails and you’re bound to spot some of the abundant wildlife that thrive on these protected lands.

District land is home to some great fishing with some properties that include handicapped-accessible fishing platforms.

Some district properties offer opportunities for canoeing, air boating and boating, and a few even have boat ramps or launches.

The majority of district lands provide trails that are suitable for cycling or horseback riding. Trail riding is a great way to see a diverse range of natural areas and wildlife.

Some district lands provide opportunities for primitive tent camping. Forego bathrooms and running water for a day or two and live the outdoor experience.

Approximately two-thirds of district land is open for hunting, in designated areas and at specified times of the year.

If nature is your thing, consider visiting some of the scenic and unspoiled 737,500 acres of land owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District.

With funds from the state’s Florida Forever program and through partnerships with state and local governments and nonprofit groups, the district purchases and manages tracts of land that are important in protecting our water resources, keeping the land in its natural state. The land helps to filter out pollutants from runoff, prevent erosion and provide flood protection, and it serves as protected plant and animal habitat.

Chances are you live somewhere near a district-owned site. These properties range from wetlands and historically wet areas to dry upland areas suitable for a variety of outdoor activities. Virtually all district properties are open to the public. So pack up your water, snacks and bug repellent and head out to enjoy a bit of wild Florida.

Wildlife caution
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.


Checklist for visiting district lands
Be prepared when visiting these remote, scenic and wild lands. Make sure you have insect repellent, drinking water, sunscreen and proper clothing.