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panther walking at a state park in florida

Situated just an hour from Daytona Beach and about 90 minutes from Jacksonville, Haw Creek Preserve State Park is one of Florida’s most isolated state parks.

Donated in 1976 to the state, this stunning preserve is one of the last remaining natural habitats for native wildlife in an area of north central Florida that is constantly developing.

It can only be accessed by watercraft, which gives you a real sense of adventure. You can launch from a couple of boat ramps in the surrounding area.

Once on the water, the course will take you past several different ecosystems which perfectly showcase Florida’s diverse topography.

Overall, this Florida state park is a terrific place for padding, fishing, bird spotting and nature exploration. There is no camping there as the environment does not support it.

However, if you are looking for a destination that allows you to enjoy the real Florida, while completely escaping the pressures of city life, then this one is hard to beat.

About Haw Creek Preserve State Park

Over 45 years ago Haw Creek Preserve State Park was acquired by the state of Florida, for the specific purpose of preserving a unique part of its natural and untouched landscape. It was also obtained to provide Floridians with a place to enjoy a range of outdoor recreational activities.

The preserve is split into two separate parcels. The western parcel incorporates the mouth of Haw Creek, as well as the floodplain areas that border both Crescent Lake and Dead Lake.

The eastern part is smaller and possesses an upstream reach of Haw Creek which lies at the confluence of Little Haw Creek. It also has the only dry land within the preserve.

On the drive to boat ramps you will pass by massive cabbage fields, which belong to America’s largest producer of them.


During their time at Haw Creek Preserve State Park, visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor recreational pursuits.

Here is some further information about the main activities you can do while you are there.

Boating at Haw Creek Preserve State Park

For those into kayaking, Haw Creek Preserve State Park offers a tranquil and scenic course in which to tackle.

This will take you through a picturesque blackwater creek, as well as an old Florida cypress swamp, that will eventually take you to Crescent Lake.

You will be able to reach it via the public Flagler County boat ramp which can be accessed from Russell Landing, or via a private marina which you will find along the Dead Lake County Road 2006.

Generally the waterway is fairly easy to traverse. Though it does get more challenging in fall when duckweed, water lettuce and dollar weed can clog up long sections of the water.

Boardwalk at Haw Creek Preserve State Park

There is a boardwalk at Haw Creek Preserve State Park that takes on a half mile course into the forested swamp.

During this scenic walk you will be able to see lots of different types of trees including palms, hollies, willows, cypress, tupelo, pines, wax myrtle, oaks, gum, ash and maples.

Fishing at Haw Creek Preserve State Park

Anglers come from all over Florida for the chance to fish at this remote spot.

While there they can catch the likes of shellcracker, largemouth bass, catfish and speckled perch.

For a change of scene, the shores of Crescent Lake are also just a short distance away.

To cast a line in the park, you might need a valid Florida fishing license. You will also have to abide by the rules and regulations of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This refers specifically to the size, number, season and method of capture of the fish.

Birding at Haw Creek Preserve State Park

For those who enjoy birding you’ll want to bring your binoculars with you to the park for the chance to spot several species that reside here.

This includes breeds that live there permanently, as well as others that call it home on a seasonal basis during the migration period.

Depending on the time of year you visit Haw Creek Preserve, you can expect to see Northern Cardinals, Common Yellowthroats, Gray Catbirds, Pileated Woodpeckers and Blue-Gray Gnatchers.

Nature & Wildlife

Haw Creek Preserve State Park is unique in that it has seven different natural ecosystems. This includes flatwoods, swamps, a blackwater stream, hammocks, forests and marshes. All of which provide a varied type of terrain to observe at any given time.

In case you were wondering, the park owes its name to a flowering shrub which is commonly found by the banks of the creek. Also on the banks and in the water, you are likely to come across several alligators.

Pets at Haw Creek Preserve State Park

Although pets are permitted at Haw Creek Preserve State Park, as it is day use access only, it is not recommended you bring them with you.

Overall there isn’t much in the way of dry land for them and there is also a sizable population of alligators for them to contend with as well.

Should you require further clarification, contact the park’s main office.

Camping at Haw Creek Preserve State Park

Unfortunately there is no camping available at the park itself.

However, not too far away from it you will find the Bull Creek Campground. A tranquil facility that is far removed from the frenetic pace of everyday life, it offers 25 RV campsites as well as several primitive campsites.

Set within an area of outstanding natural scenery, this pet-friendly campground has a range of amenities including restrooms with hot showers and flush toilets, a boat ramp and picnic grills and tables.

It is also close to an exceptional fishing area of its own.

Park Location

Haw Creek Preserve State Park
Seville, FL 32190
Phone: 386.676.4050

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Haw Creek Preserve State Park: