Announcements and property closures

Following is a list of properties that are closed or have portions closed due to ongoing land management activities. We regret the temporary inconvenience, but the closures are necessary for public safety. If you have concerns or comments about any of these activities, please contact us at landmgmt@sjrwmd.com or 386-329-4404.

Some properties reopen following hurricane damage assessments

The district continues to assess damage to its lands resulting from Hurricane Irma. Our goal is to reopen the properties for recreational uses as soon as it is safe to do so. Staff are assessing access points, levees, trails and boat ramps.

The following properties are reopened, some with limited access as repairs are made (as listed with each property).

  • Bayard Conservation Area and Bayard Wildlife Management Area (WMA) – WMA is walk-in only.
  • Black Creek Ravines Conservation Area
  • Buck Lake Conservation Area and Buck Lake Wildlife Management Area – East entrance off of S.R. 46 is open, but with limited driving access. West entrance off of S.R. 46 is walk-in only. Morgan-Alderman Road access is closed.
  • Canaveral Marshes Conservation Area
  • Clark Bay Conservation Area (includes part of Tiger Bay WMA)
  • Deep Creek Conservation Area – the Dog Branch stormwater portion only
  • Dunns Creek Conservation Area and Wildlife Management Area – walk-in only
  • Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area – Areas 3, 5 and 7 are still closed. Area 6 is open for walk-in only. Areas 2 and 4 can be accessed via boat.
  • Gourd Island Conservation Area
  • Heart Island Conservation Area (includes part of Lake George WMA) – Truck Trail 12 is closed.
  • Julington-Durbin Preserve (except the Red Trail, which is closed due to high water)
  • Lake Apopka North Shore – Red Trail only, off County Road 448A, and McDonald Canal Boat Ramp (Lake County)
  • Lake George Conservation Area (includes part of Lake George WMA)
  • Lake Jesup Conservation Area – the Marl Bed Flats and Cameron Ave. trailheads are now open. The East Lake Jesup portion is closed for construction until further notice.
  • Lake Monroe Conservation Area and Lake Monroe Wildlife Management Area
  • Lake Norris Conservation Area
  • Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area and Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area – Limited access. Burnt Island is closed.
  • Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve
  • Moses Creek Conservation Area
  • Murphy Creek Conservation Area
  • Newnans Lake Conservation Area and Hatchet Creek Wildlife Management Area – Only the Hatchet Creek Tract is open (area north of S.R 26). Hatchet Creek WMA is open but has a new access point. Go to old WMA access point to see the map that is posted.
  • Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area and Public Small Game Hunting Area
  • Orange Creek Restoration Area
  • Pellicer Creek Conservation Area
  • Seminole Ranch Conservation Area and Seminole Ranch Wildlife Management Area
  • Stokes Landing Conservation Area
  • Sunnyhill Restoration Area
  • Thomas Creek Conservation Area and Kings Road Thomas Creek Wildlife Management Area – Only Kings Road Unit Thomas Creek WMA is open.
  • Twelve Mile Swamp Conservation Area
  • Upper St. Johns River Marsh Water Management Area (WMA), which includes Blue Cypress, Three Forks and River Lake conservation areas. Two access areas within the WMA remain closed. Closed areas are:
    • Moccasin Island tract of the Upper St. Johns River Marsh WMA (Wickham Road). This access point remains closed until the water level recedes and the access road is inspected and repaired.
    • C-54 Canal and boat ramp on Fellsmere Grade just west of Babcock Street

All other district lands, including the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, remain closed. Updates will be posted to this page as they become available.

Bayard Conservation Area

Posted 3-24-2017

A 63-acre seed-tree cut at Bayard Conservation Area is scheduled to begin April 1, 2017 (see map). The contractor has until April 1, 2018, to complete the work. A seed-tree cut leaves a pre-determined number of large, mature seed-producing pine trees and removes the remainder. This is done in even-age pine stands to encourage natural recruitment of pines so the area can become a mixed age pine forest.

The western portion of the White Trail will be impacted during the work. Please be careful of logging trucks coming and going.

Clark Bay Conservation Area

Posted 3-24-2017

Numerous planted pine areas within Clark Bay Conservation Area, totaling 500 acres, will undergo a first thinning this year (see map). The work is underway and the contractor has until January 18, 2018, to complete the work.

While work is underway, please be careful with the logging trucks entering and exiting the property. This work could impact hunting within the Wildlife Management Area and the White Trail.

Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

Updated on 2‑4‑2017

The 4.2-mile self-guided wildlife drive within the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area in Lake County will remain closed throughout the 2017 season (see map). The closure is due to projects geared at restoring the natural connection to Lake Griffin, improving the wildlife drive and constructing a pad for a new and larger public boat ramp. The closure is necessary for public safety as the district prepares to restore the connection between Lake Griffin and the area west of Emeralda Island Road known as Area Three.

Lake George Conservation Area

Posted 3-24-2017

Two areas within Lake George Conservation Area totaling 115 acres (see map) will undergo a second thinning with the Interpretive Drive impacted. When work is underway, please be careful due to logging trucks entering and exiting the property. The contract allows the work to be done from March 15, 2017, through March 15, 2018. This work could impact hunting within the Wildlife Management Area.

Lake Jesup Conservation Area

Updated 7-11-2017

Several partnership restoration projects that will help improve the lake’s water quality are underway on the east side of the Lake Jesup Conservation Area. Visitors to the area might see heavy equipment as crews work to restore wetlands by removing invasive plants, removing sediment from Sweetwater canal, backfilling drainage ditches, and restoring creeks to their natural condition. Work is expected to continue through summer 2017. As a result, the white trail (see map) will be closed until the work is completed.

Newnans Lake Conservation Area

Posted 8-17-2017

Due to high water conditions within portions of the Newnans Lake Conservation Area the Group Camp Site and the trails within the Hatchet Creek Tract west of Hatchet Creek are closed.

Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area

Posted 6-23-2017

A hydrologic restoration project is underway at Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area. A portion of the project includes the construction of three overflow weir/drainage structures. The red trail will not be impacted by the project. The white and red-white connector trails will be impacted. The largest structure will be installed at the Half Mile Creek crossing located just northeast of the C.R. 326 trailhead. During the construction of this structure, the C.R. 326 trailhead will be closed for public safety.

We anticipate that all construction will be completed by the end of August 2017, unless we receive excessive rainfall.

Updated information and maps will be posted at all three trailheads on the property.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Posted 3-24-2017

Three areas of planted pines, totaling 218 acres, within Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area will undergo a first thinning (see map). The contractor has from April 15, 201,7 until April 15, 2018, to complete the work. Both the Red and White trails will be impacted by the work. Please be careful of logging trucks coming and going.

Stokes Landing Conservation Area

The observation tower at Stokes Landing Conservation Area is closed until further notice (see map). Numerous boards have broken and will be replaced in the upcoming weeks. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Posted 5-11-2017

A portion of the yellow trail and most of the yellow-white connector trail are closed for public safety until further notice. It is hoped that the trails will be re-opened by May 17. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Sunnyhill Restoration Area

The Florida Forest Service and the St. Johns River Water Management District will be hosting an Operation Outdoor Freedom deer hunt at Sunnyhill Restoration Area – North. In order to accommodate this hunt, Sunnyhill Restoration Area – North will be closed from noon on Nov. 13, 2017, until 3:00 pm on Nov. 16, 2017.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Thomas Creek Conservation Area

Posted 3-24-2017

Multiple areas within Thomas Creek Conservation Area will have forestry operations occurring over the next year (see map). When work is underway, please be careful with the logging trucks entering and exiting the property. The contract allows the work to be done from March 30, 2017, through March 30, 2018. This work could impact hunting within the Wildlife Management Area and the White trail.