Description - The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, site of one of the first attempts (in 1564) by Europeans to establish a permanent colony in North America, was inhabited by the Timucuan people for more than four thousand years before the arrival of the first Europeans. It has seen more than four centuries of exploration, colonization, agriculture and commercial exploitation under the flags of France, Spain, England, the Confederacy, and the United States.
Copyright: National Park Service
View from hardwood hammock across estuary to saltmarsh
- Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve encompasses 46,000 acres and was established to protect the natural resources of the coastal wetlands around Jacksonville and to preserve historic and prehistoric sites within the area. The estuarine ecosystem within the preserve includes salt marsh, coastal dunes, hardwood hammock as well as salt, fresh and brackish waters. Approximately 75 percent of the preserve's 46,000 acres are open water or salt marsh.
Recreation - This site provides a number of visitor activities, including fishing, viewing coastal scenery, boating, hiking, bird-watching, photography and viewing exhibits. The National Park Service operates visitor facilities at Kingsley Plantation, Fort Caroline National Memorial, the Theodore Roosevelt Area, the Ribault Column and Spanish Pond. The recently acquired Cedar Point Area is open with limited facilities at present. Visitor Centers are located at both Kingsley Plantation and Fort Caroline National Memorial.
Learning about the history of the area and observing the natural environment are the most common uses of the preserve. Kingsley Plantation and nearby Fort Caroline National Memorial cultural and historical information about the region and its various historical periods.
The Theodore Roosevelt and Cedar Point areas offer easy access into the north Florida natural environment for hiking, bird-watching, nature observation and photography. Much of the preserve is water and wetlands. Boat access provides a very different perspective. There is a primitive boat ramp at the Cedar Point Area. Private and municipal boat launches are in and around the preserve. Kayak Amelia offers guided kayak tours on the waters of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.
Fishing from boats is permitted. Fishing from shore is permitted at the Cedar Point Area. At the Theodore Roosevelt Area, shore fishing is permitted only at Round Marsh. More information can be obtained by calling or visiting Kingsley Plantation or Fort Caroline National Memorial. Adherence to federal and state regulations is required.
Climate - Summers in northeastern Florida are hot and humid with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Summer temperatures average in the low 80's Fahrenheit (27 - 28 Celsius). Mild winter temperatures average below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). Freezing temperatures are infrequent but windy conditions are common. The average precipitation for the northeast area is between 52 and 56 inches per year. Light, loose fitting clothing is recommended in spring, summer and fall. Layered clothing is recommended for winter. Biting insects are common throughout the year and are especially heavy from late April through early June.
The Timucuan Preserve is located in northeastern Jacksonville, Florida. It lies between the lower St. Johns and Nassau Rivers and encompasses a few islands and areas at their confluence.