Recreation and land

River Lakes Conservation Area


This 39,663-acre conservation area includes lakes Washington, Winder and Poinsett. St. Johns River water flow is regulated at one point — a fixed-crest weir located just north of Lake Washington — to help ensure water supply to Melbourne. The area contains extensive wetland communities, typically dominated by emergent species such as saw grass, smartweed, arrowhead and maidencane.

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. This area provides important habitat for fish and wildlife populations, including several listed species: wood storks, bald eagles, Florida sandhill cranes and river otters. The diversity of fish and wildlife provides an important recreational resource for anglers, hunters, boaters and bird-watchers.

Recreational activities
  1. Seasonal hunting (the entire area is part of the Upper St. Johns River Marsh Wildlife Management Area), fishing, hiking, bicycling, primitive camping at designated sites, canoeing, boating and wildlife viewing.
  2. Lake Washington County Park provides picnic pavilions, restrooms, a fishing pier and boat/canoe and airboat ramps.
  3. Two shelters are located in this conservation area. The shelters are for day-use only, for picnicking or protection from the weather.
  4. Geocache located on property. Please visit our geocache database for more information.

Primarily by water as indicated on map for this property (link above). Boat ramps are available on SR 520, on U.S. 192 and at Lake Washington County Park.

Campsites and shelters in the River Lakes Conservation Area

GPS coordinates are listed below for the campsite or shelters. Clicking the link will take you to the location displayed on Google maps. A printable map of the campsites and shelters in the area is also available.

Deepwater Campsite28° 17′ 26.769″ N80° 49′ 0.084″ WGoogle maps
Poinsett Shelter28° 18′ 36.062″ N80° 48′ 25.089″ WGoogle maps
Buzzard’s Roost Camp28° 17′ 22.300″ N80° 49′ 36.007″ WGoogle maps
Pontoon Camp28° 17′ 17.004″ N80° 49′ 39.410″ WGoogle maps
Mallow Point Camp28° 17′ 15.204″ N80° 49′ 42.789″ WGoogle maps
Palms Camp28° 15′ 50.216″ N80° 51′ 21.545″ WGoogle maps
Highwater Camp28° 15′ 26.228″ N80° 51′ 35.214″ WGoogle maps
Lake Poinsett Camp28° 14′ 56.763″ N80° 52′ 0.457″ WGoogle maps
Mud Lake Observation Tower28° 15′ 10.029″ N80° 49′ 54.091″ WGoogle maps
Spike Camp28° 14′ 8.683″ N80° 52′ 23.611″ WGoogle maps
Winder Mound28° 13′ 49.619″ N80° 52′ 24.959″ WGoogle maps
Wolf’s Head Camp28° 13′ 4.425″ N80° 52′ 15.884″ WGoogle maps
Persimmon Mound Camp28° 13′ 8.162″ N80° 51′ 5.624″ WGoogle maps
Oak Trees Shelter28° 12′ 27.104″ N80° 49′ 55.828″ WGoogle maps