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A view overlooking the dunes and beach boardwalk

GTM Research Reserve 
Visitor Center 
505 Guana River Road 
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 
904-380-8600

Hours of Operation and Fees

Visitor Center: Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday

  • Closed Sunday and Monday and on state holidays.
  • Admission is 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. until 9 p.m.

  • Parking fee: $3 per vehicle.

GTM Research Reserve Annual Parking Passes are available. 


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. Access to the trails is at the west end of the Guana River Dam. Horseback riding is allowed on the trails weekdays, excluding holidays. 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-horsepower maximum engine limit. The other boat ramp provides access to the Guana River. Due to mudflats, the 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.

Horseback riding on the beach: Please visit the St. Johns County Government website for information. 

The GTM Research Reserve's Visitor 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 are 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 to benefit 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 serves 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:
August 9, 2022 - 3:55pm

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