Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a fairly recent addition to the state park system. The tour begins at 6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd, Palmcoast, Florida. The parks former owner was a chairman of the board at GE and RCA. In 1965 the 425 acre parcel was given to the state with the stipulation that the gardens be “maintained in their present form ” and expanded as funds become available. There is an ancient native american (Timucuan) shell mound on the grounds. More than 100 species of birds have been identified at the park, some being birds of prey such as: Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Swallow-tailed Kite and several hawk species. The paddle though the Matanzas River may also bring us close to Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, Florida Manatee and Green Sea Turtle along with many other species.
Guana River GTM NERR
The Guana River is an excellent venue for examining untouched Florida. It is protected as part of the 7th largest (55,000 acres) national estuarine research reserve. The earliest settlers known to this area, over 5000 years ago, have left testament of their use of this estuarine environment. The Timucuan, those ancient settlers, may have been discovered here by famous Spanish Explorer, Juan Ponce De Leon, who “found the Fountain of Youth”. The tour starts at the reserve on 2690 S. Ponte Vedra Blvd. Today, many indigenous animals still inhabit this alcove of beauty, such as: Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Florida Manatee, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, and many more…
Moses Creek Conservation Area
Moses Creek Conservation Area is as untouched as St. Augustine gets. Protected by the St. John’s River Water Management District it is undeveloped and inaccessible by motor. The creek has a few sites for camping and observation, as well as, several miles of hiking trails. The trip starts at Frank Butler Park West on 399 Riverside Blvd. The Matanzas River and salt marsh surrounding Moses Creek may store Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Florida Manatee, Osprey, Roseate Spoonbill and many more native animals.
Faver-Dykes State Park
Pellicer Creek is full of native wildlife to view on a kayak trip. The tour begins at Faver Dykes State Park at 1000 Faver Dykes Rd. There have been over 100 species of birds identified in the park, including: Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron and Peregrine Falcon, to name a few. While paddling in the creek it is possible to see Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin and on rare occasions the elusive, cold blooded American Alligator. The tidal flats of Pellicer Creek attract many species of fish and birds, at lower tides. Whatever the tide, Pellicer Creek offers an optimum view of the areas native species.
Moultrie Creek is an excellent site to paddle in the immediate, native St. Augustine area. The oyster beds and tidal beaches along the creek attract many indigenous fish and bird species. The creek empties into the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, where Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin are often seen. Florida Manatees are also occasionally sighted. The Osprey is ever present, looking to dive for its next fish from heights up to several stories high. Enjoy a view of native St. Augustine with minimal impact to the ecosystem.
Guana Lake GTM NERR
Guana Lake is a great place to view many of over 230 species of birds, including Bald Eagle. It is protected as part of the 7th largest (55,000 acres) national estuarine research reserve. The earliest settlers known to this area, over 5000 years ago, left testament of their use of this estuarine environment. The Timucuan, those ancient settlers, may have been discovered here by famous Spanish Explorer, Juan Ponce De Leon, who “found the Fountain of Youth”. The tour starts at the reserve on 2690 S. Ponte Vedra Blvd. Today, many other native animals inhabit the reserve. One of those animals may be the cold-blooded, elusive and mostly nocturnal American Alligator.
Six Mile Landing Guana Lake GTM NERR
Guana Lake is part of an example of a wildlife refuge with over 230 identified bird species. Guana Island will be very close on this tour, with at least 25 known archaeological sites. From the launch area the channel becomes narrow, and all sorts of otherwise rarely viewed species will be seen closer. The ever-present Brown Pelican will dive, as it’s not so often observed relative, the American White Pelican, will swim in groups to fish. The elusive Roseate Spoonbill, with distinct pink plumage, will strain for food as the Great Blue Heron waits to spear a meal next to the sleeping American Alligator. This and much more can all be experienced almost upon arrival at Guana Reserve’s 6 Mile Boat Landing, just off A1A in South Ponte Vedra Beach (6 miles north of Guana Dam and environmental education center or 0.3 mile south of the North Beach Access parking).
St. Augustine Eco Tours Backcountry Kayaking:
For those who want a special, private paddling experience! The Backcountry Kayak Tour is designed for those who have prior paddling experience and are looking for extended time on the water.
3 hour Backcountry Kayak Trip $100/person These trips leave from 7 different river access locations