Announcements and property closures

District camping area closures

All camping areas on district lands throughout its 18 counties will close at 11 a.m. March 20 for 30 days. This closure is in following continuing guidance from the state of Florida and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and taking proactive measures to protect staff and the public.

Please see our news release for details.


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.

Bayard Conservation Area

Updated on 3-30-2020

Due to the extension of the First Coast Expressway, FDOT has taken ownership of the State Road (SR) 16 road frontage of Bayard Conservation Area, including both of the current parking areas off of SR 16. FDOT and its contractors have begun clearing the property purchased from the district in 2019 to accommodate the new Shands Bridge and the First Coast Expressway. As a result, the western parking lot at Bayard was closed permanently on Feb. 15, 2020. The district has constructed a new parking lot just interior of the current eastern parking lot and the new parking area is large enough to accommodate both regular vehicular parking as well as horse trailers. The district anticipates opening the new parking lot at a date to be determined. Until that time, visitors should use the eastern parking lot to access the conservation area.

Also, FDOT assures the district that access to the conservation area will not be impacted during the construction of the Expressway and the new Shands Bridge.

Fellsmere Water Management Area

Updated 1-8-2020

Construction has begun on the boat ramp and recreation facility at Headwaters Lake, located at the north end of the district’s Fellsmere Water Management Area (FWMA) in Indian River County.

The boat ramp project includes construction of an improved parking area, restrooms and a floating dock along with the boat ramp. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) contributed a 50 percent funding match ($842,000) through the Florida Boating Improvement Program for this project. Contractors estimate the work will take 140 days.

FWMA and its multi-function reservoirs serve water supply and flood control purposes and help improve the water quality of agricultural and surface water drainage. Additionally, the area offers opportunities for public recreation. Even before construction on the boat ramp began, kayakers were taking advantage of the north reservoir, and because of FWC’s habitat improvement work, the FWMA is quickly becoming an attractive destination for anglers.

Map of the Fellsmere Water Management Area with boat ramp location

Julington-Durbin Preserve

Posted 3-19-2020

The city of Jacksonville, which is co-owner with the district and agency lead on recreational activities at Julington-Durbin Preserve, has closed the property to public access effective March 13. According to a city news release, all city parks are closed until March 31. Information about city parks is available at www.timucuanparks.org/park-closures

Seminole Ranch Conservation Area

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has requested a road closure within the Salt Lake WMA portion of Seminole Ranch Conservation Area. Switchgrass Road will be closed to vehicular traffic effective January 29, 2019 and remain closed until conditions dry out enough to allow for the repair of two failing culverts. An updated timeline will be provided when available. The closure is likely to last through the spring and upcoming turkey season. Switchgrass Road will be closed from the intersection of Boar Road south to it’s terminus.”

Map of Janualry 2019 road closure at Seminole Ranch Conservation Area

Lake Apopka North Shore

Posted 3-13-2020

The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive within the district’s Lake Apopka North Shore is closed until further notice.

The decision to close the drive is in line with the State of Florida’s efforts to lessen transmission of the virus. The popular Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, which is open on weekends and federal holidays, attracts thousands of visitors each month, with more than 16,000 visitors in February alone.

For additional details, please see our news release.

Blue Cypress Conservation Area

Posted 3-25 2020

The levees adjacent to the water control structure known as S-96C in the headwaters of the St. Johns River in Indian River County are closed to public access until further notice. The district is currently refurbishing the structure and issued the closure for safety reasons.