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swamps at Savannas Preserve State Park

Fifteen miles of pristine marsh and wetlands stretch across Florida’s east coast, from Ft. Pierce to Jensen Beach, providing much needed habitat for many wildlife species along its path. This large area of more than 6,800 acres is located 50 miles north of West Palm Beach.

Savannas Preserve State Park is one of the largest intact freshwater marshlands in southeast Florida. Visitors enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, picnicking, and exploring the 15 miles of trails on foot, bicycle or horseback.

Activities

Pack a picnic lunch and your binoculars and relax at one of the many picnic areas scattered throughout this Florida state park. Wherever you choose to sit will offer a breathtaking view of the park’s flora, fauna and wetlands.

Check out the Education Center to learn more about the area before heading out on the complex trail system. While exploring by foot, bike, horse or kayak you’ll be sure to see many species of wildlife, all while taking in the spectacular views all around.

Here are some activities that you can do during your visit to Savannas Preserve State Park:

Education Center at Savannas Preserve State Park

The Education Center inside Savannas Preserve State Park offers visitors a closer look at some of the flora and fauna found within the savanna. Interactive displays, live animals and short videos provide guests with a greater understanding of the area’s native plants, animals, habitats, as well as the history of the St. Lucie River.

Aerial photograph of Savannas Preserve State Park

Boating at Savannas Preserve State Park

Paddle peacefully along Evans Creek and get a closer look at nature and wildlife within Savannas Preserve State Park.

Guests who bring their own canoes and kayaks may launch them along the boardwalk inside the park. Two hour canoe/kayak tours and moonlit paddles are offered seasonally during the winter and spring. Contact the park for more information.

Hiking at Savannas Preserve State Park

Hike the nature trails and 15 miles of multi-use trails during your visit to Savannas Preserve State Park. The trail system, which is also shared with bicyclists and horseback riders, is located near the Environmental Education Center. Due to the wetlands and marsh it is not uncommon for the trails to be wet and muddy at times.

Here are some of the trails at Savannas Preserve State Park

  • Hawk’s Bluff Trail – An easy 1 mile loop through scrub and maritime hammock, past a bog and along Lake Eden.
  • Southend Lookout Trail – Easy 2 mile trail that winds through the wetlands, marsh and wildflowers and out to a birdwatchers lookout area.

Young alligators swimming under lily pads at Savannas Preserve State Park

Biking at Savannas Preserve State Park

Take a ride and explore the park’s 15 miles of multi-use trails that wind through the savanna. Helmets are required for all cyclists under the age of 16.

Horseback Riding at Savannas Preserve State Park

Take a leisurely ride along the 15 miles of multi-use trails inside Savannas Preserve State Park. These nature trails extend throughout the marshland and are shared by hikers, bicyclists and horses. A designated horse trailer parking area is available. Please be aware that a negative Coggins report is required for each horse who enters the park.

Fishing at Savannas Preserve State Park

Fish for largemouth bass, snook and snapper from canoe or boardwalk along the preserve. Guests are able to launch their hand held boats from this ADA accessible boardwalk. Be sure to pick up a Florida freshwater fishing license ahead of time.

Birding at Savannas Preserve State Park

Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and bird lists for a chance to spend some quality time bird watching inside Savannas Preserve State Park. You’ll have a chance to see migratory ducks, cardinals, blackbirds, sparrows, bald eagles, hawks, hummingbirds, mockingbirds, wild turkeys, heron, egrets, ibis, owls, Roseate Spoonbills, Sandhill Cranes, Wood Storks and Florida Scrub Jays.

Nature and Wildlife at Savannas Preserve State Park

Savannas Preserve State Park features the largest savanna along the east coast of Florida. At one time this freshwater marshland extended all along Florida’s southeast coastline. This area was discovered to be ideal for growing pineapples during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The fruit thrived in orchards all along the Atlantic Ridge.

Today many species of wildlife live within this area that comprises marsh lake, wet prairie, pine flatwoods, sand pine scrub and scrubby flatwoods. During your visit look for rare plants such as four petal pawpaw, prickly apple cactus and Lakels’s mint, native and migratory birds, and white-tailed deer, marsh rabbit, gopher tortoises and alligators.

Pets at Savannas Preserve State Park

Savannas Preserve State Park does allow pets as long as they are well behaved and kept on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet.

Camping Near Savannas Preserve State Park

Nearby Jonathan Dickinson State Park, located at 16450 SE Federal Hwy in Hobe Sound, has cabins, two family campgrounds, a small equestrian campground, a group camping area and backpack camping sites.

The fully furnished cabins have one bedroom, one full bathroom, dining and kitchen area and a family room with a pull out sleeper sofa and are located close to the Loxahatchee River. Campsites have electric and water hookups, picnic tables, grills, and are within walking distance to large bathhouses with laundry facilities.

The equestrian campground features tie-out posts and space for portable pens for guests traveling with their horses. And the primitive group camping area has tables, a fire circle and access to a nearby composting toilet. Potable water is available at the picnic area one mile away.

The primitive campsites are located along the trails and accessible by foot or bike. A water pitcher pump is located nearby, but the water must be treated before drinking.

Park Location

Savannas Preserve State Park
2541 SE Walton Rd
Port St. Lucie, FL
Phone: 772.398.2779

Website

Map

Video

Here is a good YouTube video with some aerial footage of Savannas Preserve State Park: