The St. Johns River Water Management District provides boat launches at some of its public lands that require a permit and/or reservation to access. Persons wishing to use these boating access points must make a reservation in advance, as these areas are quite popular.

Advance reservations

Reservations are required at Buck Lake Conservation Area and Eustis Sand Mine Lake (within the Lake Norris Conservation Area).

  • Use of the launches require reservations be made before 6 a.m. the day before the reservation date. The District encourages boaters to inquire about reservations further than one day in advance, as these are popular areas.
  • Boaters are allowed one permit per week, and two weekend days per month (per person, boat and vehicle).
  • Reservations require the driver’s vehicle description, license plate, boat registration number and trailer tag. Once information is entered, you must select it for each permit.
  • Once issued, the vehicle permit must be visible in the dash of the vehicle while visiting the District property.
  • Permits do not grant permission to drive anywhere else on the properties, nor do they allow camping, even though reservations are made through camping system.
  • Permits are requested through the District’s camp reservation system.
Grass growing in some shallows

Buck Lake boat launch

This launch is an unimproved launch area with two permits available each day. Permits are not available during hunt season. Only permitted hunters are allowed on property on hunt or scout dates, even if the gates are open.

Eustis Sand Mine Lake

This boat launch is located near the Lake Norris Conservation Area, but the access is located at 37000 Hart Ranch Road, Eustis. This is an improved boat ramp with three permits available each day.

Fort Drum Day Use Annual permit

This permit allows access beyond the first gate by Lake Cara as you turn in off of Hwy. 60 at Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area. This grants you vehicular access to the Horseshoe Parking Area and you must hike in from there. You may NOT drive anywhere else for any reason with this permit.

  • You must call in advance to receive a permit, you must print the permit and it must be visible in the dash of the vehicle listed on the permit. You can request a permit via phone at 386-329-4404 or email at kmdavis@sjrwmd.com.  It will take up to one business day to receive your permit.
  • This is a Day Use permit. It only allows access during daytime hours.
  • Permits are automatically renewed each year in August via email.
  • Access to the property is not allowed on any special opportunity hunt or scout day. The hunt dates are on the permit, for your convenience.
  • Take plenty of water as there isn’t any on the property.
  • You will need to have the vehicle description and license plate information when you call to request a permit. The permit is tied to the vehicle listed on it.
  • This area has one reservable and two first-come, first-serve campsites on the property. This permit does not give you permission to camp. You must make a reservation on the camp reservation system. The District allows primitive tent camping only.
  • See property map and trail guide.
Blue sign for the Horseshoe Lake parking area

Lake Jesup annual parking permit

This permit allows access to a locked parking area at Lake Jesup Conservation Area that is located on Oakway Lane in Sanford. This parking area provides visitors access to the Marlbed Flats tract at Lake Jesup Conservation Area.

  • You must call in advance to receive a permit, you must print the permit and the permit must be visible in the dash of the vehicle listed on it. You can request a permit via phone at 386-329-4404 or email at kmdavis@sjrwmd.com.  It will take up to one business day to receive your permit.
  • Permit must be printed so it is visible in the dash of the vehicle listed on the permit. You will need your vehicle description and license plate. This permit is tied to the vehicle listed on the permit.
  • This does not grant anyone access through the gate to the property with a vehicle for any reason. This is only a parking permit. This is for daytime use only.
  • This permit is automatically renewed each April, via email. You will need to contact the District if any information on the permit changes prior to April.
  • See property map and trail guide.

Annual boat ramp access permits

There are two unimproved boat ramps that you can access with a permit that is automatically renewed each year. These must be requested one business day in advance of you planning to go to the property, as we are not always able to create the permit immediately.

  • You must call in advance to receive a permit, and you must print the permit and place it in a visible location on your dashboard. You can request a permit via phone at 386-329-4404 or email at kmdavis@sjrwmd.com.  It will take up to one business day to receive your permit. You will need your vehicle description, tag number, boat registration number and trailer tag (if applicable). This permit is tied to the vehicle listed on the permit.
  • This permit is automatically renewed each April, via email. You will need to contact the District if any information on the permit changes prior to April.

You must request these in advance of visiting the properties by contacting Karen Davis as stated above.

The boat ramps are located on the following properties:

Hal Scott pond

This pond is located off the main parking area at Hal Scott Preserve and Park at 4500 Dallas Blvd., Orlando. This small pond is behind a locked gate and has an unimproved ramp.

  • See property map and trail guide.
  • Gas motors are not allowed to be used on the pond.
  • Permit does not grant access to enter any other gate or drive anywhere else on the property.

Orange Creek boat launch

This area is located on the north side of County Road 318 in Citra at Orange Creek Restoration Area. This permit allows the permit holder access beyond the gate closest to the lake from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.