Located within the GTM Research Reserve, these special hikes will help you understand why these unique environments make this one of only 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves in the entire country. Come see what makes estuaries so special.

Hiking The Guana Trails Experience

Not sure what kind of hike you are up for? Well just head out to the Guana Trails and choose from a range of fun, easy experiences.  Located within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve), there are five hiking options ranging from shorter hikes of approximately 2 miles, to a longer 5.8-mile hike.

As one of only 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves across the nation, the GTM can provide a diverse mix of background information about what you’ll see on the hikes.  The wildlife on these trails can be special and you might see great blue herons, snowy egrets, storks, roseate spoonbills, pelicans, owls, deer, gopher tortoises, mussels, clams and oysters.

These hikes are convenient as they all begin at the Trailhead Pavilion. Additional pre-hike interpretation and trail maps are available at the Environmental Education Center as you enter the GTM Research Reserve. If you’re one that wants additional depth, there are also guided hikes and indoor presentations often available and their availability can be determined by calling the GTM. A series of benches are provided along the hikes providing multiple locations to stop and take a break.

As a natural Preserve, these lands are particularly sensitive and can be easily damaged.   You can be a “Sustainable PVB Guest” by keeping these tips in mind.

  • Stay on designated paths to prevent trampling on sensitive plants and animals – these Preserve environments are very sensitive.
  • Keep the “natural” in “natural areas” by packing in what you pack out.
  • Make sure to bring your own water bottle and fill before coming out.
  • Stop by the GTM Environmental Education Center to better understand these unique ecosystems and support this important institution.


Experience: Guana Trails Hiking

Address: The GTM Environmental Education Center is located at  505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach FL 32082  – for trail access keep straight once you turn on Guana River Road, stop at pay station for entry access, go past the Guana Dam parking lot on a dirt road which leads to the trail parking lot.

Entrance Fee: $3 parking fee

Hours: For the trails – 8am to sunset, for the Environmental Education Center 9am to 4pm

Website :  https://gtmnerr.org/

Facilities Available : The Guana Trails provides easy parking and the Trailhead Pavilion gives a mix of background information about the hikes.  There are restrooms at the Pavilion and a variety of benches along the trails are great spots to stop and take in the natural beauty of the Preserve.

Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate – all hikes are on relatively level ground and are easy to access.

Other Information: Click here for Trail Map

Tips From The Experts

  1. For easiest access, park at the west end of the Guana Dam, past the pay station, near the Trailhead Pavilion.
  2. Take a look at the hiking options on the map at the Trailhead Pavilion, this information will help you choose the “right hike”.
  3. Go before 11am. You will see more wildlife in the cooler parts of the day and it makes for an easier time on the trail.
  4. Make sure to stop into the Environmental Education Center either before or after your hike to learn more about this unique area.