Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve is a big space of green bordering the St John's River found in Jacksonville, Florida (accessible by A1A). It is 46,000 acres of green space, with wetlands & waterway ecosystems that's managed by the National Park Services, the City of Jacksonville, and by the Florida State Park services. Within the preserve, you'll find historic Fort Caroline, the Theodore Roosevelt Area, Ribault Hall & Kingsley Plantation. Timucuan is named for the Timucua people, an indigenous American Indian group that lived in Northeast Florida.
Things to Do
- Hiking - there are short hiking trails from the ranger station to Fort Caroline, and also a loop that goes around it. If your family is looking for more challenging trails, do the Theodore Roosevelt Area. However, one trail in the Roosevelt Area does get flooded, so best to check with the park ranger about the conditions before you set out on your own.
- Dolphin Watching - from Fort Caroline, you'll have an excellent view of St John's River, where you'll see wild dolphins on a lucky day. You can also view dolphins from the Kingsley Plantation.
- Learn more about history at the Kingsley Plantation - a site of a former plantation. There's tabby buildings within the site.
- Go to the Ribault Club, a restored clubhouse from 1928 which serves as a great venue for weddings and events, with several rooms serving as historical exhibits. It is officially Fort George Island's visitor center.
Timucuan Eclological & Historic Preserve Insider Tips
- The whole preserve is huge, so there is no way you can walk from Fort Caroline to Ribault Hall/Kingsley Plantation (which is in another island, technically). Best way to explore the area is by renting a car, driving from location to location and parking it to go hiking.
- Sign up for the ranger guided tour in Kingsley Plantation so you can go inside the house. It's the only way you can get inside the historic house and it's free!