Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Reserve was established in 1999 as a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System and is one of three NERRs in Florida. The Reserve staff manage the Guana Dam parking area, three beach lots (north, middle, and south), a trail system, the EEC, and a field office in Marineland, Florida. The Reserve’s 73,256 acres also includes Guana River Wildlife Management Area, Deep Creek State Forest, Stokes Landing Conservation Area, Fort Matanzas National Monument, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Faver-Dykes State Park, Moses Creek Conservation Area, Pellicer Creek Conservation Area, Princess Place Preserve, and the River to Sea Preserve, all of which are managed by separate agencies. The Reserve is an important economic, ecological, and educational resource for local communities. The estuary provides valuable ecological services such as a nursery, storm protection, flood protection, oyster habitat, and water quality. Its health is fundamental to the survival of endangered ocean species such as the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and sea turtles. These resources provide economic opportunities in the form of fishing, recreational businesses, and jobs. As a NERR, the Reserve conducts scientific research, stewardship activities, and educational programs. Some of the unique aspects of this Reserve are its rich cultural history, location by the first city in America, pristine and quiet beaches, and diverse habitats.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
189 reviews
Excellent
137
Very good
48
Average
3
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Tess
St. Augustine, FL18 contributions
Apr 2023 • Solo
This place is beautiful and well worth the three dollar entry every time! Trails are super well maintained and well marked. Didn’t see many wildlife this visit except for a digging armadillo. Many different trails of varying lengths and easy to combine to make longer or shorter. Only issue is the bugs. I always be sure to wear bug spray even if it’s not that hot. Don’t recommend in the summer, worst time of the year to visit when it’s hot + humid all the bugs are out. Otherwise highly recommend checking out this place. Excited to visit again!
Written April 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

G. J Kemp
Leicester, MA91 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
Really nice place to visit. Great beaches to go to off of A1A. Park for a small fee and cross over to walk fish or swim the seashore. Great fishing at the dam at Guana or rent a kayak to explore the reserve. Boat launch there so you can take your own watercraft. Plenty of self guided walking trails there for you to explore also.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Otterhoney
St. Augustine, FL84 contributions
Mar 2021 • Couples
We have hiked and biked these trails and love it. When we hiked, we took our dogs. They loved it ! But I have to say we came home and the dogs had tons of ticks :(

We had a great time biking the yellow-to purple to red trail. (Estimated 10miles ) It was a little bumpy due to the tree roots. You really have to watch where you are going but it was worth it! We live here in St. Aug and we will definitely go back! :)
Written March 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MikefromKentucky
Kentucky206 contributions
Oct 2022
For those of us who need easy trails (level trails that are not dark and full of tree roots) this is a lovely area for hiking. Trails are open and generally follow old logging roads. Located in Ponte Vedra Beach halfway between Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Fishing allowed in the bay (I assume with appropriate license). Parking available but probably full on nice weekends . Small friendly museum as well. We rent an oceanfront home in Ponte Vedra Beach and love this place and the great restaurants nearby.
Written November 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

J. T.
Charlotte, NC110 contributions
Jan 2021 • Couples
Just recently found GTM. I love the variety and number of trail options. Some trails are more shaded by big oaks, others walk amongst low palms. It is incredibly peaceful. We didn’t see too much wildlife, but it has been pretty unseasonably cool each time we’ve been there. I like the orange trail for flora and the trail along the intracoastal for a energy.
Written January 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jan W
Lakeland, FL254 contributions
Feb 2015 • Friends
A brief 20 minute ride north of St. Augustine on A1A takes you to a nature treasure. The GTM Reserve offers opportunities for fishing, surfing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, bird watching and a fabulous education center. The education center ($2 charge) should be your first stop. If you're lucky you'll be just in time to see the once-a-week feeding of the Horse Conch (Florida's state shell) who is given a meal of a smaller conch (see photo). There are many more excellent exhibits, a telescope focused on eagle's nest, an outdoor pier where many sea birds congregate and a nice little film about the national estuarine research program. The staff is very helpful and gave us trail maps and other brochures. To get to the trailhead parking you must drive over the Guana River dam ($3). From there 10 miles of trails run the length of the peninsula with many interpretive kiosks along the way. We walked through hammocks, scrub and flatwoods and encountered an armadillo and a possum. This is a great place to get away from the commercial attractions and spend some quiet time with nature.
Written March 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer V
Jacksonville, FL23 contributions
Mar 2014 • Family
We took the bikes out to the trails and had a wonderful day exploring. We had one mountain bike and one beach cruiser, both with tag-alongs on the back for our younger children. While I was able to ride the trails with the beach cruiser, it would have been easier with a mountain bike (tree roots, mud, etc). We took the yellow, blue and orange trails and saw some beautiful scenery. The three trails combined was the perfect distance for us. It probably took us an hour to an hour in half. The yellow trail takes you to the intracoastal where my daughter loved playing with hermit crabs and watching the fiddler crabs. We then went to the nature center and my kids LOVED it. The volunteer gave them a scavenger hunt list and the kids (ages 4 and 6) were so into it. At the end they turned it in for a surprise (rainbow loom bracelet). We will be back.
Written March 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vvitori
St. Augustine, FL78 contributions
This is located just north of Vilano or is considered South Ponte Vedra. I am a local and never knew this was here. I had family in town so I took my 13 yo nephew and sister in law. This was a wonderful educational facility! So much to look at and i thought very cheap ($2 for an adult). They featured a turtle the day we were there. I enjoyed this myself.
Written August 17, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

restoman2020
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL86 contributions
Dec 2016 • Couples
Beautiful beach that runs for miles, a protected Reserve from ocean to river on the lower end of Padre Island.....a rare treat indeed......a learning center, located a the southern end of the Reserve is filled with exhibits and educational material, as well as a small but wonderfully curated aquarium.....don't forget to look for the Bald Eagles
Written January 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RLWOrangePark
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL3,667 contributions
Jan 2017 • Couples
We love to walk on the beach and so when they temporarily closed Mickler's Landing for beach renourishment we ventured south (about 3 miles) to this natural preserve. Beach is very wide and long and great to walk on as there were very few people when we were there during the week. Parking is across A!A and costs $3 unless you have an annual beach pass ($30). Despite damage to the dunes from our last hurricane, the dunes are very large and covered with vegetation. This is a great way to spend a very peaceful relaxing day.
Written January 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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