At St. Johns Riverkeeper, we’re all about sharing our love of nature and introducing new people to the St. Johns River watershed and all it has to offer.
We aren’t alone in that sentiment — the Theodore Roosevelt Area of the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve stands as a historical, physical embodiment of that passion for sharing nature!
If you’re looking for a new park to parse through in the lower basin, we recommend this one. Here’s why:
A Park with a Purpose
The Theodore Roosevelt Area of the Timucuan Preserve spans a total of 600 acres and features a variety of settings, including wetlands, hardwood forest, and scrub vegetation. It has a rich history, thanks to the generosity of William Henry Browne III, who lived on this very land.
Perhaps one of the best quotes to summarize Browne’s feelings about nature is this: “People have to work in the cities, they can’t live in the woods anymore,” he said. “But they ought to have a place in the woods they can go to.”
Thus, rather than selling the land as he was encouraged to, Browne donated it to the National Park Service.
“Willie spent his whole life here, and the foundations of his cabin stand as a testament to the gift he gave to future visitors,” the National Park Service (NPS) explains. “Willie gave his property to the Nature Conservancy for preservation. In 1990, this land became a part of the National Park Service.”
Roving Around the Theodore Roosevelt Area
The Theodore Roosevelt Area is open to visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
“The preserve provides a rare view of Florida old-growth forest. It is a jungle of centuries-old oaks mixed with huge pines, palm trees, and thick groundcover,” according to Great Runs. “The trails offer great elevation, with some of the steepest hills you will find in the area. The main trails are wide, the size of roadways, but off of the main trails are more winding and narrow [trails].”
If you’d like to bring your furry family members along with you, you are welcome to! Specifically, pets are allowed to take part in your outdoor expedition but must remain on a six-foot leash.
Visitors will also enjoy:
- Observation decks
- Picnics tables
- Tours for hard-to-spot animals
Check out our feature of this park in Redfin’s blog about 8 Free Things to do in Jacksonville, FL!
About “Get Your Feet Wet”
“A favorite destination for all visitors to this National Park, the observation deck at [one] mile overlooks the sweep of Round Marsh and maisy meanders of Colorinda Creek,” Florida Hikes reports. “The creek flows through an expansive estuary out to the St. Johns River in the distance.”
It’s amazing to see how the creeks, rivers, and lakes in our watershed are all interconnected, with our St. Johns River as the anchor. And that’s one reason why, here at St. Johns Riverkeeper, we dare you to get your feet wet!
We started our Get Your Feet Wet campaign to help you and your loved ones feel encouraged to explore. Our goal is to help you foster your existing or newfound love for the St. Johns River watershed by visiting and learning more about all there is to enjoy here.
Long-time river lovers and curious new explorers alike are welcome to join! We truly believe that you’ll enjoy the various activities and locations that we feature throughout the watershed.
From guided hikes to tiny dock concerts, kayaking, and more, we hope to help you get your feet wet. To learn more, contact the St. Johns Riverkeeper team today or check out all of our upcoming events.