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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

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Address: 505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Phone Number:
+1 904-823-4500
Website
Today
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

The Reserve was established in 1999 as a part of the National Oceanic and...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Quick visit to GTM...worth a second look

Too short a visit this time but will definitely go back. I would recommend stopping by the visitor center and viewing the video before venturing out to explore. Lots of... read more

Reviewed 25 May 2016
luvmyvacays
,
Mechanicsburg, PA
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133 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 132: English reviews
vero
Level Contributor
54 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2016

It has an okay education center but it looked like a dozen other centers. The best thing was the telescope set up to watch the Bald eagle's nest. I had hoped for a walking path for my mom (whose in her 80s), but if there was one, we didnt find it.

Helpful?
Thank FloridaGaijin
Panama City Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 27 May 2016

This GTM Reserve experience was mixed for me. I think that it was somewhat interesting but mainly, it was not the most fun experience. I think that places like the St. Augustine Eco-Tour is a much better experience than doing this. However, these people do try to help the environment which is always good.

Helpful?
Thank Specificz
Mechanicsburg, PA
Level Contributor
91 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2016

Too short a visit this time but will definitely go back. I would recommend stopping by the visitor center and viewing the video before venturing out to explore. Lots of diversity from the beach to river estuaries. Beautiful place.

Helpful?
Thank luvmyvacays
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
42 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2016

This is one of the best places in the area to hike, fish and kayak. A must if you love the outdoors. Great birding as well. Bring a camera and binoculars.

Helpful?
Thank Brewgtr
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2016

There are 3 main areas to visit: forest, beach and museum. Flat, easy trails of different lengths provide great views of wildlife. Walk to the river, or around a pond. To enter, you pay (usually you need singles to put in the machine, $3) and cross the dam and park. You can fish on either side of the dam. There... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank AmyRW
Peachtree City, Georgia
Level Contributor
97 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2016

We love to go to this area for shelling and just enough the sounds of the ocean away from crowds regardless of season.

Helpful?
Thank TwoTravelers245
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2016

My wife and I stayed in Ponte Vedra and, except for enjoying dining and golfing experiences, had some trouble finding what else to do (we had explored St. Augustine last year). Hiking on the trails of this reserve was a great find. There must be at least 10 miles of trails that you can walk or cycle. The vegetation is... More 

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Thank ngp50
Florida
Level Contributor
135 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2016

The $3 fee it takes to park is well worth it. This is one of my favorite places in the world. It has both the beach and the river with so much more in between. It's a nice break of quiet, old Florida in between Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine. It always amazes me to think that the landscape that... More 

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2 Thank wheretoadventure
Lancaster, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
95 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2016

I like to hike in the woods, my wife likes the beach, so this location worked out very well. There is a parking lot just south of the entrance to the park next to a store. I went to the beach (across the road) for a short time, left my wife there and walked the path to the Guana River... More 

Helpful?
Thank WilsonP
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
160 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2016

Guana River State Park is now part of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. The research reserve is on A1A, between St. Augustine and Jacksonville . It's over 60,000 acres are beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes, mangroves, tidal wetlands, tidal creeks, oyster beds, estuarine lagoons, maritime hardwood hammock, freshwater depression marshes, pond pine and shell mound forests. There... More 

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Thank ThePCGuy

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