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Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT

Mar 2018
 Typical view [?]
Photo Galleries
Typical View (10)

Snapshots! (4)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? B
Birding C *
Wildlife B
Summer Heat B
Terrain B
Fun Hike B
Maintained B
Mosquitos D
Biting Files A
Ticks C
NOTE: C+
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, St. Johns, USA, 32082

1) What It's Like

It's something like Indian River Lagoon / Meritt Island covering about half coast between St.Augustine and Jacksonville. Strips of river, land, river, and narrow strip of land with highway and miles of houses. Wetlands and forested dry lands that are worth looking at.

2) Kinds of Birds

Lots of pelicans, some shore birds and wading birds, good amount of warblers and mixed flock forest birds.

3) Wildlife

I would assume there is some in here but didn't see any.

4) Amenities

Boardwalks - no bathrooms near the trail... I don't recall if there were any further up closer to highway A1A. Going north I believe there are gas stations, from the south it's a ton of just houses for miles.

5) Time Requirements

You get to interesting things pretty quickly from parking so you could stop for a quick visit like we did - or walk the better part of a day in there.

Experience

Guana River WMA / Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. It's a pretty large area something like Indian River Lagoon / Merritt Island. It's a a long stretch of wild that's a few strips of river and land going West to East: The Tolomato river, a wider strip of fresh and salt wetlands and forest land, the Guana River, then a strip of land holding highway A1A with miles of houses barely between it and a beach. It's a lot of private beaches, nothing public for a long ways. I'm not sure why anyone would want to live out here with not much privacy and not close to anything... but they do.

We arrived at Guana River Road / Shell Bluff Road not long before sunset. That's is the point where Guano lake is separated from Guana River and they were working on some earthworks type thing at that connection (the road goes over it like a berm dam. For some reason there were more pelicans than I've ever seen attracted to whatever they were doing there. There were wading birds here and you could hear some warblers etc ahead across the berm where
there was a parking area and what they called "Shell Bluff Road". To the right of that parking area there was a small loop in some oaks and there were a good number of mixed flock forest birds. In this peninsula you're entering there are several miles of trails. We just did enough to see that it looked interesting and wild. Nice boardwalks, great views of marsh grasses - odd mixed ecosystem. So - it looks like a great place to explore but this is as far as we got before sunset and we didn't explore the other parts of the park farther north at all.

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