Announcements and property closures

District camping notice

Camping areas on district lands throughout its 18 counties reopened May 22, 2020. The district reminds visitors to follow all social distancing and health advisories, following guidance from the state of Florida and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Take drinking water, insect repellent and hand sanitizer.


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

Lake Apopka North Shore

Posted 3-13-2020

Motorized access to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive within the district’s Lake Apopka North Shore is closed until further notice. All other district recreational opportunities currently remain open around the Lake Apopka North Shore.

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.

The Lust Road gate is closed to public access. All other access points (trailheads at Clay Island, Green Mountain Scenic Overlook, North Shore, Magnolia Park and McDonald Canal Boat Ramp) are open to public access.

Note that water resource projects are under way at the Lake Apopka North Shore, and those construction areas are closed to public access.

For additional details, please see our Get the Facts page.

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.