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USA Parks
Florida
Central East Region
St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park
ST. SEBASTIAN RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK
ST. SEBASTIAN RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK
1000 Buffer Preserve Drive
Fellsmere, Florida   32948

Phone: 321-953-5005
This site preserves open grassy forests of longleaf pine that were once commonplace throughout Florida. The pine flatwoods form a backdrop for other biological communities, including cypress domes, scrubby flatwoods, sandhills, and a beautiful strand swamp. These habitats are home to many native plants and animals, including over 50 protected species. Photographers, bird-watchers, and nature enthusiasts can explore miles of trails on foot, bicycle, or horseback. Canoeing, boating, and fishing on the St. Sebastian River are popular activities. Launching facilities are available outside the preserve at Dale Wimbrow Park and several private ramps along the St. Sebastian River, and a canoe launch north of County Road 512.

St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

The visitor center is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Nature of the Area
Wildlife Viewing. West Indian manatees gather in the C54 canal from November through March and can be observed at the eastern end of Buffer Preserve Drive in Brevard County. Other wildlife viewing includes birds, deer, coyote, bobcat, wild turkey, quail, eastern indigo snakes and gopher tortoises. Alligators can be seen in the St. Sebastian River and the C54 canal. If you see an alligator while on the river, please give them a wide berth and do not attempt to feed or molest them. Although rare, alligators have been known to make unprovoked attacks on pets and humans, so please keep your distance.BirdingThe Preserve is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and has been identified as one of the top birding locations in the United States. Many different species of birds use the preserve during migration, such as the swallow-tailed kite, various songbirds, hawks, hummingbirds and robins. Please look at our bird checklist to see which birds are here during each season. Our most popular birds are red-cockaded woodpeckers, Florida scrub jays and Bachman's sparrows. More common sightings include sandhill cranes, wood storks, southern bald eagles and American kestrels.
History of the Area
The State of Florida began to purchase large tracts of land for the preserve in 1995. The primary purpose of acquiring the land was to protect the watershed to the St. Sebastian River and the Indian River Lagoon and soon grew to include protecting rare and endangered species of plants and animals and the pristine habitats where they live. The preserve covers one-third of the watershed to the St. Sebastian River, improving water quality and reducing human impacts such as agricultural and residential uses. The preserve has grown continually since the first land acquisition and now encompasses more than 35 square miles (22,000 acres).
Camping
Primitive Camping

Primitive tent camping is available at six campsites. All sites are hike in only. Two are located on the north side of the preserve in Brevard County. Four are located on the south side of the preserve in Indian River County. Collection of firewood is prohibited. You'll need to pack in all food, water, firewood and pack out all trash. Advance reservations are required, payable by cash or check. You will need to provide vehicle tag numbers for every vehicle staying on the preserve overnight. The preserve's entrance gates are locked at sunset and are re-opened by 8:00 a.m. A camper's combination lock is available for use in case of emergencies between sunset and 8:00 a.m. Call the preserve office Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on 321-953-5005 to make reservations.

Horse Camping: Three primitive campsites are available for horse camping for groups up to 20. Storytelling Camp in Brevard County has paddocks, non-potable water for horses, a pitcher pump, picnic pavilion, one portable toilet, campfire ring and benches. Ranch Camp in Indian River County has paddocks, non-potable water for horses, campfire ring and benches. Eagle Camp in Indian River County has one large paddock, a pitcher pump, three raised tent platforms, a lean to, campfire ring and benches. Eagle Camp is a ride-in only site requiring a five-mile ride each way from the parking area. Proof of negative Coggins test must be carried at all times.

Group Camping

The preserve has five primitive tent camp sites available for groups up to 20 persons. Larger groups must obtain permission from the Park Manager. Fees are per person per night and must be paid in advance by cash or check. Advance reservations are required to reserve campsites. You will need to provide vehicle tag numbers for every vehicle staying on the preserve overnight. The preserve's entrance gates are locked at sunset and are re-opened by 8:00 a.m. A camper's combination lock is available for use in case of emergencies between sunset and 8 a.m. Call the preserve office Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on 321-953-5005 for reservations.
Canoeing
No launching of canoes or kayaks is permitted on the Preserve. However, launching is available nearby at Donald MacDonald Park or Dale Wimbrow Park (both off Roseland Road) or at the Indian River County canoe launch north of the intersection of CR512 and CR510. The county's launch site requires a two-hour paddle to reach the Preserve's canoe landing. You might plan to stop along the river and have a picnic or take a hike on the preserve before paddling on to your disembarkation point.


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Day Use Area
Two picnic pavilions are located on the southeast side of the preserve in Indian River County. No advance reservations are required. Pavilions are used on a first-come, first-served basis.
Picnicking
One remote picnic area is available in Brevard County at Horseman's Headquarters. No advance reservations are required. One unprotected picnic table is available at the manatee viewing area in Brevard County.
Trails
The preserve has 60 miles of trails about equally split between Brevard and Indian River Counties. Most of our trails are very long and are more suited for horseback riding, mountain biking and extended hikes. All visitors should bring water and sun protection. Those wanting a chance to see Florida scrub jays should park on the southwest side of the preserve (one mile west of I-95 off CR512). Endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers can be seen on the northeast side of the preserve. Park at the Stumper Flats or Horseman's Headquarters parking areas.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 29 Great reserve by Traillover123
I love it! my mom and i bike through the blue trail every weekend. I would recommend a mountain bike because some of the way is bumpy. The roads are good For sight seeing and the trails are good for a rough experience and sightseeing. For people who want to see nothing but plains with trees few and far between, this is your place to be.
March 1 One of our favorite parks to trail ride by jumpit2003
My family and I love to bring the horses to the preserve and trail ride. The park has well maintained trails, good visual markers so it is easy to follow the trail, and even in the middle of the summer the trails are mostly covered by trees so it is cooler. A big plus is that you can camp with your horses, they have stalls right next to the campsite. My daughter loves it and so do I. Also there are so many trails so it is hard to get bored.


Area Campgrounds

Pelican's Landings of Sebastian
11330 South Indian River Drive
Sebastian, FL
772-589-5188


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Directions
The north entrance for the visitor center and Manatee Vista is off Babcock Street (County Road 507) just north of the C-54 Canal. Exit I-95 at County Road 514 to reach County Road 507. The south entrance is off Fellsmere Road (County Road 512) 1.8 miles east of I-95.

USA Parks
Florida
Central East Region
St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park
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