Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area


This 20,862-acre area contains a mosaic of wetland and upland communities. The marsh area represents the southernmost reach of the St. Johns River’s headwaters. The area was acquired as part of the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project, undertaken jointly by the district and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The diversity of plant communities has been shaped by both people and nature. Natural communities include dry prairie, pine flatwoods, hardwood swamp and freshwater marsh.

Wildlife viewing

Please respect Florida’s wildlife and use caution while visiting district lands. These are wild animals. For your safety, do not approach or feed any wild animal. The diverse habitats support Florida sandhill cranes, wood storks, caracara, bald eagles, deer, turkey and a large population of feral hogs.

Recreational activities
  1. Activities include hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, bicycling, primitive camping at designated sites, wildlife viewing, canoeing, environmental education and seasonal hunting.
  2. A boardwalk provides an opportunity to hike through a hardwood swamp to reach Hog Island for trails and primitive camping.
  3. A picnic pavilion and picnic tables are located adjacent to Horseshoe Lake.
  4. Horseback riding is not allowed on levees.
  5. Vehicle access beyond Lake Cara is by permit only. Please call the district’s Land Resources Bureau at 386-329-4404 for information about a “day use” permit.
  6. Geocache located on property. Please visit our geocache database for more information.

From I-95, exit at SR 60, go west on SR 60 to the “20-Mile Bend.” Access is located 10.9 miles west of County Road 512 and 10 miles east of Yeehaw Junction.