State Parks and Forests Near St. Augustine Historic Inns

State Parks Near St. Augustine, Florida

From bountiful romantic rooms to deep-rooted history to dozens of attractions, there are many reasons to visit the Nation’s Oldest City. But if adventure is what you seek, rest assured that you’ll find many state parks near St. Augustine, Florida that will suffice even the well-traveled. Explore lush forests on foot, kayak parallel to coastal dunes, and stroll through fields of flowers – only to return to the comfort of your St. Augustine Historic Inn – when you visit these state parks near St. Augustine.

Photo Credit: Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Anastasia State Park

Anastasia State Park is a widely popular place to visit for locals and visitors alike. This state park near St. Augustine is only a hop and skip away from the Historic District. To be exact, it’s nine minutes away from the west side of the Bridge of Lions.

Although you can camp here overnight, there are many reasons you’ll want to stay in one of our bed and breakfasts instead. With that in mind, don’t think you can’t fully experience all that the park has to offer by lodging offsite. From guided bird walks to dune hikes to lectures about turtles, the park hosts free activities weekly. No worries if you can’t fit a scheduled event into your itinerary. You can explore Anastasia State Park on your own by spending the day at the beach (access to free WIFI) or hiking the dunes. Additionally, you can rent a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, sailboat, or bicycle at the on-site renting booth, Anastasia Water Park.

Deep Creek State Forest

Deep Creek State Forest is roughly a 20-minute drive north from the Historic District in St. Augustine. It’s positioned on the west of the Tolomato River, parallel to Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. As you can imagine, much of the state parks wildlife, vegetation, and estuarine life is similar to that of Guana’s.

The 380-acre state forest is a popular destination for canoers, kayakers, boaters, and paddleboarders as each side but north is surrounded by Tolomato River. Pine Island Rd leads to the main entrance of the park where you are met with a boardwalk and lounging area with picnic tables, a fireplace, and a small boat launch. You can choose to hike along the river or launch your vessel into the river for a windy drift on calm waters.

Guana Tolomato Matanzas Estuarine Reserve

The GTM Research Reserve stretches over 74,000 acres of coastal land and marshes; the park stretches from Ponte Vedra Beach all the way to Palm Coast. The state parks main entrance is located off A1A N, just 20 minutes from St. Augustine.

The GTM is a lovely place for hiking and exploring. From the main entrance, you have access to roughly five hiking that varies in length with the shortest being one mile and the longest being ten miles. Perfect for walking or biking, the trails are smooth and well-paved from previous hikers who have patted down the dirt with their sneakers. Additionally, the GTM has a rental booth on-site, Guana Outpost South, where you can rent kayaks or a paddleboard for a guided tour or for exploring the waterway on your own.

Faver-Dykes State Park

Faver-Dykes State Park is located south of historic St. Augustine, a 30 minute-drive that will take you just past Matanzas State Forest.

This state park near St. Augustine has it all. Fishing, canoeing, hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy here. It’s a popular spot for deer, bird, and gopher sitings. After you get down and dirty on the trails and on the water, wash-off in their full-service bathing house.

Matanzas State Forest

Matanzas State Forest is located just before Faver-Dykes State Park on US1 S, making it a 3o minute drive, as well. This sacred forest is 4,699 acres large and is very important as it protects the last remaining undisturbed salt marsh within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Estuarine Reserve.

Grab your binoculars and cameras because this state park is widely known as the gathering place for songbirds, deer, otter, wading birds, eagles, turkeys, hogs, and even gopher tortoises. All in all, its a wonderful place for viewing, studying, and photographing nature’s blessings. Additionally, there is water access for kayaking and canoeing, and trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding.

Washington Oaks Garden State Park

Washington Oaks Garden State Park is a favorite destination for people in Northeast Florida. It’s located on A1A S, about 30 minutes from Historic Downtown.

Calling all plant, flower, and garden lovers, Washington Oaks Garden is the state park near St. Augustine for you! Although there is a trail or two for hikers, the real draw to this state park are the majestic gardens, and it’s oceanfront and riverfront location. Truly a lush landscape, check it out for yourself during their First Friday Garden Walk, Second Saturday Plant Sale, or any other time you please.

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Synthia Nadal
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