With countless miles of trails to explore, hikers have plenty of options in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach. Our beautiful parks and nature reserves offer Florida vistas in their most natural form.
Here are our top suggestions for hiking Florida’s Historic Coast:
The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
With more than 15 miles of trails, the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM) sits on a beautiful peninsula between the Guana River and Tolomato River. Trails are open to hiking and biking and wind through a variety of habitats, offering plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities and gorgeous examples of native vegetation. Click here for a trail map.
Anastasia State Park
Just to the east of St. Augustine is Anastasia State Park. The Ancient Dunes Trail is a loop that leads you under the shade of ancient live oaks. The trail begins in the back of the park’s campground area and travels about seven-tenths of a mile with some more strenuous climbs up and down the sandy terrain. Hit the beach after your hike for a refreshing dip in the ocean!
Deep Creek Conservation Area
Deep Creek Conservation Area offers more than 12 miles of hiking and biking trails. Deep Creek North (4,529 acres), the largest portion of the conservation area – includes frontage along the St. Johns River and the portion of Deep Creek that flows into the river. The uplands are dominated by pine flatwoods. Common wildlife species such as great blue heron, double-breasted cormorant, anhinga, common egret, tri-colored heron, boat-tailed grackle, and red-winged blackbird, opossums, bobcats and white-tailed deer.
Fort Matanzas Nature Trail
The Fort Matanzas Nature Trail offers a half-mile loop through natural habitats with amazing views. You can also take the ferry to Fort Matanzas, which was a colonial outpost near the Matanzas Inlet at the mouth of the Matanzas River running into the ocean.
Faver-Dykes State Park
Faver-Dykes State Park offers a two-mile loop popular with bird watchers. During spring and fall migration seasons, you can spot more than 100 species of birds throughout the park. Here’s a park trail map to help you plan.
Moses Creek Conservation Area
Moses Creek Conservation Area offers nearly 16 miles of trails featuring pine flatwoods and a river, these hiking trails are good for all skill levels.
Princess Place Preserve Park
Princess Place Preserve park offers 1,500 acres and four hiking loops among a canopy of indigenous vegetation. You can view a park trail map here.
Stokes Landing Conservation Area
Stokes Landing Conservation Area offers 5 miles of hiking and biking trails. One of the special highlights is an observation platform for viewing wildlife and the marsh that overlooks the Tolomato River and the GTM-NERR.
Bayard Conservation Area
The trails at Bayard Conservation Area take you through a riverfront canopy of natural vegetation right by the St. Johns River. Hikers will find a seven-mile loop, and shorter one-and two-mile trails as well. Click here to view a trail map.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Put Washington Oaks Gardens State Park on your must-see list. Sitting on a barrier island, this park offers refined gardens coupled with venerable live oak trees. The Bella Vista Trail offers a 1.8-mile loop through several different habitats.