An Immersive Experience for Nature Lovers -

An Immersive Experience for Nature Lovers

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, known locally as the GTM Research Reserve, is the perfect place for visitors to discover local wildlife and observe conservation efforts.

February 11, 2020
image, An Immersive Experience for Nature Lovers

With features like an interactive visitor center, ten miles of trails, and regular outdoor events, this site invites families, environmental experts, and curious visitors alike.


As one of 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves in the country, the GTM Research Reserve protects 74,000 acres of conservation lands and waters, preserving a diversity of plants, animals, and cultural resources. The site focuses on research, education, and stewardship. Some of the GTM’s research includes monitoring water quality, oyster populations, and salt marshes. The GTM encourages education through workshops, summer camps, and virtual reality programs. Stewardship includes regular beach cleanups and habitat restoration.


The GTM Research Reserve offers a variety of activities and experiences for visitors. Upon entering the Visitor Center, come face-to-face with life-size recreations of marine animals suspended from the ceiling. The building also features tanks of local aquatic life, including a reptile room of snakes and alligators, as well as dioramas, interactive displays, and a telescope for observing bald eagles.


Outdoor trails
vary in length for casual strolling and intense hiking, even allowing four-legged visitors. The site also features opportunities for picnicking, fishing, and paddle boarding (rentals available). Visitors can sign up for guided cultural and natural hikes, seasonal nature walks, family seining, and more. Families can make the most of their visit by participating in a scavenger hunt of habitats or enjoying a guided beach exploration, complete with hunting for shark teeth.



For more information on the GTM Research Reserve, visit their website or check out their calendar of monthly events.

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St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches
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