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A view overlooking the dunes and beach boardwalk at Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

GTM Research Reserve 
Environmental Education Center 
505 Guana River Road 
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 
904-823-4500

Hours of Operation and Fees

The Environmental Education Center 
Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday

(Closed Sunday and Monday) 
Closed on state holidays
FREE for all ages

GTM trails and Guana beach parking areas 
Open daily, 8 a.m. to sunset, 365 days a year. 
Parking fee: $3 per vehicle

GTM Guana River Dam Use Area 
Open daily for fishing, 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
Parking fee: $3 per vehicle

GTM Research Reserve Annual Passes are available for $53 at the GTM Environmental Education Center. 

Recreational activities at GTM Research Reserve include hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking or canoeing, bird-watching, picnicking, sunbathing and much more.

Hiking and biking are popular along the 10 miles of nature trails and old service roads that wind through the hammock, scrub and flatwoods in the interior portion of GTM Research Reserve. Horseback riding is allowed on the trails weekdays, excluding holidays. Access to the trails is at the west end of the Guana River Dam. Ticks and biting insects are common throughout the year and are especially heavy from late April through early September.

There are two small boat ramps at Guana Dam. One ramp provides access to Guana Lake (aka Lake Ponte Vedra). Guana Lake has a 10 hp maximum engine limit. The other boat ramp provides access to Guana River. Due to mudflats, Guana River may not be navigated at low tide, and you may not be able to get to and from the ramp until the tide comes in.

Three beach parking lots are located along A1A. Park and walk across A1A to the beach dune walkovers that will lead you to a beautiful coquina sand beach. There are no lifeguards at the beach. The south beach parking lot is wheelchair accessible.

Note: Horseback riding on the beach - Please see St. Johns County's link for additional information. 

The GTM Research Reserve's Environmental Education Center provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the many functions of the coastal and estuarine ecosystem and the natural history of Northeast Florida. The center contains natural and cultural history exhibits, aquariums, an audiovisual theater/auditorium and a nature store. Indoor scavenger hunts available for all ages!

Additional Location

GTM Research Reserve
Marineland Office
9741 Ocean Shore Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32080
904-823-4500
Hours of operation: Monday-Friday (by appointment)

Issues Facing GTM Research Reserve

Public Use: 

Ensure recreation is sustainable and consistent with resource protection for the benefit of existing and future generations

Habitat and Species Management:

Improve the conservation of natural biodiversity within GTM Research Reserve.

Watershed Land Use:

Reduce the impact of watershed land use on coastal resources by identifying priority pollutants and encouraging best management practices.

Cultural Resources

Preserve cultural resources through research, interpretation and preservation.

Global Processes

GTM Research Reserve will serve as a clearinghouse of information concerning global and meteorological processes and a demonstration site for green building technologies and practices.

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Last Modified:
April 16, 2018 - 10:53am

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