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Birding Adventures TV/Lake County Economic Development and Tourism Department, 2013
District lands offer a wealth of recreational opportunities
If nature is your thing, consider visiting some of the scenic and unspoiled 700,000 acres of land owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District.
With funds from the state’s Florida Forever program and through partnerships with state and local governments and nonprofit groups, the District purchases and manages tracts of land that are important in protecting our water resources, keeping the land in its natural state. The land helps to filter out pollutants from runoff, prevent erosion and provide flood protection, and it serves as protected plant and animal habitat.
Chances are you live somewhere near a District-owned site. These properties range from wetlands and historically wet areas to dry upland areas suitable for a variety of outdoor activities. Virtually all District properties are open to the public.
So what can you do on District lands?
- Take a hike. Ramble your way through miles of trails and you’re bound to spot some of the abundant wildlife that thrive on these protected lands.
- Make a splash. Some District properties offer opportunities for canoeing, air boating and boating, and a few even have boat ramps or launches.
- Go fish. District land is home to some great fishing. Some properties include handicapped-accessible fishing platforms, while other areas are best fished from the bank or from a canoe or small boat.
- Ride along. The majority of District lands provide trails that are suitable for cycling or horseback riding. A ride through one of our properties is a great way to see a diverse range of natural areas and wildlife.
- Sleep out. For the hardcore outdoorsman, some District lands provide opportunities for primitive tent camping. If you are willing to forego bathrooms and running water for a day or two, you can have the full outdoor experience, complete with a crackling campfire under the stars.
- Go hunting. Approximately two-thirds of District land is open for hunting, in designated areas and at specified times of the year.
So pack up your water, snacks and bug repellent and head out to enjoy a bit of wild Florida.