Hiking the Guana, Timucuan, South Point Loop Trail
Looping the peninsula of land between the Guana River and the Tolomato River, the trails within the GTM Research Reserve are one of North Florida’s most beautiful places to hike.
The trails within the GTM Research Reserve offer hikers a variety of options in diverse environmental habitats.
Go earlier in the day for the best opportunities to view wildlife such as deer, owls, gopher tortoise and many species of forest birds. As you explore, be aware that you may be sharing the trail with cyclists, horseback riders, and other hikers.
Easy parking is available at the Guana Dam or the Trailhead ($3 day use fee, cash only). Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear bug spray. The Guana, Timucuan, South Point Loop Trail Loop is a 9.2-mile hike that begins on the Purple Trail and loops in the Red Trail where you’ll find yourself at the southern end of the peninsula. The trail is moderately trafficked and features a shady maritime hammock with beautiful wildflowers and wildlife.
This trail is good for all skill levels and dogs on leashes are welcome.
Must Sees on the Trail: Marker 2, explore the large Timucuan midden and see the remains of La Natividad de Nuestra Senora de Tolomato, the fist Spanish mission in the New World.
At a Glance Information for Hiking the Guana, Timucuan, South Point Loop Trail Loop
Type of Trail: Loop, 9.2 miles
Fees/Permits: $3 day use fee, cash only paid at Guana Dam
Points of Interest: South Point (south end of peninsula); Timucuan midden; La Natividad de Nuestra Senora de Tolomato; Shell Bluff; Big Savanna Pond
Trail Blaze Colors: Trails are color coded in the GTM Reserve
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Bug Factor: Moderate, bring bug spray
Restrooms: at Guana Dam, Trailhead and Environmental Education Center
Open: Daily from 8 AM to sunset
Tips on How to be a Sustainable Ponte Vedra Beach Guest
- Stay on track. Staying on designated trails to trampling on sensitive plants and animals.
- Keep it natural. By packing out what you bring in you’ll help keep the “natural” in our “natural areas.”
- Bring your own. Make sure to bring your reusable water bottle and refill it at the GTM Environmental Education Center
- Share the trail. Keep your eyes open for other hikers, dog walkers and horseback riders.
- Stay chemical free. Stick to sunscreens that are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, two of the most common ingredients found in chemical formulas.
- Education is key. Stop by the GTM Environmental Education Center to better understand these unique ecosystems.