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This unique park provides one of the last unaltered views within the City of Jacksonville of the creeks, saltmarshes and uplands that collectively comprise the Timucuan Preserve. These upland ecosystems are crucial in maintaining water quality and providing healthy habitat for plants and animals. The abundant plants and wildlife range from gopher tortoises, bald eagles, and white-tailed deer to pitcher plants and wildflowers. There is no doubt that you could spend a full day at Pumpkin Creek Preserve State Park and the Seven Creeks Area of Jacksonville. Here’s what we suggest you check out while you are there:
MORNING: Bring your outdoor gear, lot of water, food and a hat, if it’s a sunny day you will need it! We suggest you first head to the welcome center to grab the general park info and to learn about the wildlife you may encounter. Park rangers are there to share their expertise on the best things to do while you are at the park.
Move your car to the unpaved parking lot at the trailhead. Stroll the 3-mile trail loop to have a breakfast picnic under the tree canopies. Hiking, biking and horseback riding are just a few of the ways you can enjoy the trails. The new seven creeks trail connects Pumpkin Hill to adjacent city parks, Betz Tiger Point, Cedar Point and the Jim Wingate Preserve which give you access to over 12 miles of trails.
If you’re visiting during the winter months, you will find the American Bald Eagle at home in the nest or hunting in the area, accessible from either the Red Square Spur multi-use trail or the Eagle Spur hiking trail, plan for a 1.5-mile hike then take a break and watch these regal birds. There are many other birds to discover along the trails. You can spot wood storks, roseate spoonbills and egrets. Listen out for the sounds of Song birds, owls, woodpeckers, turkey and bobwhite. Many of the birds you will see in the park reside there all year long.
AFTERNOON: Time to explore the creeks and enjoy the waterways on the eastern edge of the park. If you own your own equipment, you can launch into the tranquil marsh and enjoy some time along the creeks. The creeks are made up of a combination of the St. Johns River and the Nassau River. The water here is calm and suitable for canoe/kayak/paddleboard. There are several points where you can choose to fish. With proper fishing equipment and licensing, you can catch red drum, flounder and sea trout.
The park closes at dark, there is no overnight camping.
Address: 3802 Pumpkin Hill Road, Jacksonville, FL 32226