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 or 386-329-4404.

Bayard Conservation Area

Posted 8-23-2018

Bayard Conservation Area will be undergoing some changes beginning in the next coming weeks and months. Due to the upcoming extension of the First Coast Expressway, FDOT has taken ownership of the SR 16 road frontage of Bayard Conservation Area, this includes both of the current parking areas off of SR 16. Over the next couple months SJRWMD will be constructing a new parking lot just interior of the current eastern parking lot and the new parking area will be large enough to accommodate both regular vehicular parking as well as horse trailers. FDOT assures us that at no time during the construction of the Expressway and the new Shands Bridge, will public access to Bayard impacted.

Posted 11-13-2017

A 63-acre timber harvest began at the end of 2017 and will be complete by the end of 2018, weather permitting. As a result of the heavy equipment coming and going, portions of the white and yellow trails will be closed throughout the project (see map). A map and additional information will be posted at the Bayard trailheads. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Buck Lake Conservation Area

Posted 6-21-2018

High water levels in and near the St. Johns River have prompted the district to temporarily close campsites on this property. At Buck Lake, the reservable campsite is closed due to standing water. Road One is covered by flowing water at three locations and Road Five leading to the observation tower is underwater. The boat launch at Buck Lake is closed because it is also flooded. The rest of the property is open.

Lake Apopka North Shore

Updated 8-31-2018

Portions of the property are closed due to ongoing repairs from damage sustained in the September 2017 Hurricane Irma. Our goal is to reopen the properties for recreational uses as soon as it is safe to do so.

  • Lake Apopka Loop Trail is now open, but will be temporarily detoured between Sept. 4-6 due to continuing road repairs. See map for details.
  • The detour will take visitors north on Conrad Road, west on Lust Road, returning to the Lake Apopka Loop Trial at the pump house. The detour is internal and within the district’s property.

Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area / Moss Bluff Lock

Updated 2-7-2018

The Moss Bluff Lock is closed to boat traffic until further notice. The lock was closed in October 2017 for routine maintenance and repair of hurricane damage.

During the closure, the scheduled maintenance on slide-gates (which control water level within the lock) will be completed, as well as any hurricane damage repairs as needed. Signs are posted in the area to alert boaters of the temporary suspensions. County boat ramps located upstream and downstream of Moss Bluff remain open and available for use.

Seminole Ranch Conservation Area

Updated 9-13-2018

High water levels in and near the St. Johns River have prompted the district to temporarily close portions of this property. At Seminole Ranch, the Hatbill Road horse trailer parking areas remain closed. The remainder of the property is open to boaters, and for walking, bicycling and horseback riding, including the airboat launch at State Road 50.

Posted 6-8-2018

Two airboat crossings within the Seminole Ranch Conservation Area will be temporarily closed while the St. Johns River Water Management District installs block mats, which will help to further stabilize the crossings. During the closure, airboats should take the Snake Creek Channel to the east of the observation tower to travel to and from the south end of Loughman Lake. Closure will begin June 1 or when water levels recede enough to allow work to begin.

See details in news release

Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area

Posted 6-23-2017

On hold due to weather but will resume when conditions permit.

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.

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

On hold due to weather but will resume when conditions permit.

Three areas of planted pines, totaling 218 acres, within Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area will undergo a first thinning (see map). Both the Red and White trails will be impacted by the work. Please be careful of logging trucks coming and going.

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. This work could impact hunting within the Wildlife Management Area and the White trail. The contract will be complete by the end of 2018, weather permitting.