Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, also known as The Timucuan Preserve is a National Preserved in Jacksonville, Florida. The Preserve spans 46,000 acres of wetlands, waterways, and other ecosystems and includes natural and historic areas such as the Fort Caroline National Memorial and the Kingsley Plantation.

Established in 1988 and expanded a decade later by Preservation Project Jacksonville, the Preserve is named after the Timucua Indians who had no less than 35 chiefdoms throughout northern Florida and south Georgia during the time of the Spanish colonization. The Preserve is one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast which is home to sweeping salt marshes, coastal dunes, hardwood forests and more than 6,000 years of human history. The preserve also includes the famous 8.5-acre sand dune (known locally as NaNa) at the historic American Beach on Amelia Island. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

»Kingsley Plantation

Kingsley Plantation

Kingsley Plantation was named after owner Zephaniah Kingsley and his family who bought and lived on the land between 1814 and 1837 during Florida’s plantation period. The Kingsley household was famous for being polygamous and multiracial that resisted the issue of race and slavery that were prevalent at the time. The estate is renowned for its significant archaeological finds such as evidence of Pre-Colombian Timucua life on the island, and the remains of a Spanish mission named San Juan del Puerto.

Located on the northern tip of Fort George Island at Fort George Inlet, prominent features of the plantation include the owner's house which dates back to the late 18th century and is regarded as the oldest surviving plantation house in the state, as well as 25 historical slave cabins that survived the Civil War. The Kingsley Plantation is currently is managed by the U.S. National Park Service. Don’t miss exploring the center’s exhibits to learn more about the pristine salt marsh environment that takes up 75% of the preserve or the human occupation of the Lower St. Johns River Valley that dates back 6,000 years. Photo:

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»Fort Caroline

Fort Caroline

Located on the banks of the St. Johns River, Fort Caroline was one of the first French colonies in the United States. Established by René Goulaine de Laudonnière in 1564 as a safe haven for the French Huguenots, the French settlement came into conflict with the Spanish a year later and was sacked by Spanish troops and occupied until 1569.

The Fort Caroline National Memorial was founded near the point that commemorates Laudonnière's first landing in 1953 and is now managed as part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Walk the four trails of the Theodore Roosevelt Area that offers beautiful glimpses of the salt marshes, tidal creeks, first-growth trees and Native American shell mounds dating back thousands of years.

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»Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Visit

The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is located on Fort Caroline Road in Jacksonville and is open to the public from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, daily. The Timucuan Preserve is accessible by motorcar, bike, RV or boat and has two visitor centers, namely the Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center and the Kingsley Plantation Visitor Center.

Located at Fort Caroline National Memorial, the Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center features an outstanding exhibition called ‘Where Waters Meet’ and displays the richness of the northeastern Florida environment and how humans have interacted and played a role in the environment for thousands of years. The Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center is also home to an information desk, a bookstore and a variety of activities.

The Kingsley Plantation Visitor Center is surrounded by beautiful grounds and features the plantation house, a kitchen house, barn, slave quarters and an interpretive garden. The visitor center has a contact and information station and bookstore located in a 1920s building next to the plantation buildings.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Jacksonville, FL Address: 12713 Fort Caroline Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32225, website, Phone: 904-641-7155 Photo:

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Jacksonville, FL: Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve