Three Forks Conservation Area


This 47,529-acre area comprises a significant portion of the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project, a cooperative effort with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide flood control and environmental protection. The first discernible channels of the St. Johns River (Three Forks) arise within the marsh south of Lake Hell ‘n’ Blazes. The original floodplain communities of this area were severely impacted by diking and draining for agricultural uses. Water management areas separate and improve the quality of agricultural waters before they flow into the river.

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. Restoration has helped to improve habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, river otters and shorebirds. The diversity of fish and wildlife provides a recreational resource for anglers, hunters, boaters and bird-watchers. Alligators are seen year-round.

Recreational activities
  1. Hiking, biking and bank fishing on the levees, seasonal hunting, fishing, primitive camping at designated sites, airboating, boating, canoeing and wildlife viewing.
  2. Several shelters are located on the marsh. These are for day-use only and can be used for picnicking or protection from the weather.
  3. Geocache located on property. Please visit our geocache database for more information.

From I-95, use the Melbourne exit at U.S. 192 and go west to Camp Holly. You can also take the County Road (CR) 514 exit (Malabar Road) and turn west on Malabar Road to the Thomas O. Lawton Recreation Area, or from the Malabar Road exit, turn east to CR 507 (Babcock Road), then south on Babcock and west on Fellsmere Grade. Gates at the Thomas O. Lawton Recreation Area open at sunrise and close at sunset.

Campsites and shelters available in the Three Forks 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.

Name Y X Link
Sawgrass Shelter 28° 3′ 46.379″ N 80° 47′ 18.452″ W Google maps
East Union Cypress Camp 28° 3′ 44.524″ N 80° 47′ 11.327″ W Google maps
North Indian Field Camp 28° 3′ 25.983″ N 80° 47′ 11.122″ W Google maps
Spade Island Camp 28° 0′ 45.742″ N 80° 48′ 21.779″ W Google maps
Bulldozer Cabin 27° 59′ 52.313″ N 80° 48′ 13.095″ W Google maps
Willow Shelter 27° 54′ 37.864″ N 80° 44′ 47.154″ W Google maps