Discover Three Forks Conservation Area, where the St. Johns River takes form and adventure awaits
Nov. 30, 2023
The District’s Three Forks Conservation Area in Brevard County.
As you approach the aptly named Three Forks Conservation Area in Brevard County, you’re greeted by the first visible channels of the St. Johns River. A haven for boaters, anglers, hikers, bikers and hunters, the St. Johns River Water Management District property, once inhabited by the Ais tribe, offers more than 47,000 acres of resource-based recreation.
“It’s a special property because it allows visitors to continue to experience the land the way Native Americans did thousands of years ago. They can hunt, fish and camp on a piece of undeveloped Florida,” Land Manager Jonny Baker says. “The way the property is managed highlights its historic uses, protects plant and wildlife habitat and provides vital flood protection for the region.”
Three Forks Conservation Area contains a significant portion of the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project, a cooperative effort between the District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide flood control and environmental protection in the region. Decades ago, diking and draining for agricultural purposes severely impacted the original floodplain communities of the area. Today, water management areas separate and improve the quality of agricultural waters before they flow into the river.
On any given day, you’ll find airboats, bass boats, canoes and kayaks navigating the winding river and exploring the various lakes and channels throughout the property. For those eager to leave technology behind for a day or two, primitive campsites are scattered along the river marsh. Four first-come, first-served campsites are typically only accessible by boat, depending on the time of year and the weather conditions.
With over 70 miles of trails, you don’t need a boat to enjoy Three Forks. Most trails are along levees, providing an excellent opportunity to explore on a bike or fish along the banks. Home to a variety of wading birds, waterfowl, river otters, shorebirds and, of course, alligators, the conservation area is a prime destination for wildlife viewing. Hunters can participate in seasonal hunting in the designated wildlife management area.
With a wide range of recreational activities, Three Forks Conservation Area offers something to accommodate all interests. Plan a visit today and see it for yourself! Visit the District’s online recreation guide for a property map, driving directions and more: www.sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/three-forks.