Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve

  • by Kristen Wagoner
  • July 21, 2020

photo by @kaelinoelle

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is a dynamic, ever changing place with many interconnected habitats from the ocean to the forests. One of 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves in the country, this landscape protects 76,760 acres and provides for a great diversity of plants, fish, and animals.

While on the reserve you can hike, bike, horseback ride, fish, kayak or canoe, bird watch, picnic, sunbathe, walk the beach, and much more. Parking is limited to make sure to get there early. Bring your furry friend for an adventure because leashed dogs are welcome.

Hiking and biking are among the most popular activities to do- there is 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 trail’s weekdays. Access to the trails is at the west end of the Guana River Dam. While on the trails you can leisurely stroll through a coastal scrub habitat where you may encounter gopher tortoises, Anastasia Island Beach Mice, or even a bobcat. Closer to the river, there are opportunities to observe wading birds, such as spoon bills, limpkin, heron and eagles, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and manatees.

There are also two boat ramps located at Guana Dam. One ramp provides access to Guana Lake (the lake has a 10 hp maximum engine limit) and the other boat ramp provides access to Guana River.

Guana has an amazing Environmental Education Center. The center has exhibits and weekly programs that highlight plants and animals that live in the Reserve, and how shows how the scientists conduct their research. The Center is open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily.

*Due to the current Coronavirus Outbreak the visitor center is closed*


Hiking Trails: 8:00 am to sunset

Guana Dam: 4:00 am – 11:00 pm, fishing only

Beach Access Lots: 8:00 am to sunset

$3.00 per vehicle; open all year

Environmental Education Center :9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Adults – $2

Children 10-17 – $1

Children under 10 – Free

Phone: (904) 823-4500


photo by @my_enchanting_florida_lifephoto by @maurice_colbertphoto by @jj_alligoodphoto by @jamessdaltonphoto by @daveabaphoto by @hawx_iphotophoto by @salt_life_mikephoto by @__michael_anthonyphoto by @stephaniescarboroughphoto by @the904doggophoto by @fashionsensoredphoto by @fordeauxphoto by @bokchoythecorgi




505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082



Join over 70,000 North Floridian's that receive our weekly newsletter.

Trust us, It's good!

Related Articles