Jennings State Forest
Jennings State Forest was purchased
through the State of Florida's Conservation and Recreation
Lands Program, Preservation 2000 Program, and the Save
Our Rivers Program in cooperation with the St. John's
River Water Management District. The Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Forest Service has management responsibility for Jennings
The Florida Forest Service's multiple-use management
system creates a balance between the conservation
of natural resources, including sustainable forest
management and hunting; ecosystem management and protection;
and outdoor recreational use. Photo of wildlife viewing blind, Photo of mesic flatwoods.
Jennings State Forest can be found in the northern section
of Clay County, which is located in northeastern Florida.
The forest is approximately 10 miles southwest of Jacksonville,
and 5 miles southwest of Orange Park. The State Forest
has 5 drive-in entrances along the perimeter of the forest. Access
to the eastern section of the forest is available from
State Road 21 to County Road 220A, and access to the western
section is available from U.S. 301 to County Road 218.
The forest headquarters is situated on the north end of Long
Horn Road which adjoins State Road 218.
There are more than 15 different natural biological
communities on Jennings State Forest, each with unique
plants, animals, and physical characteristics. This
results in an abundance of wildlife residing in the
forest. Fire is needed to maintain many of these communities.
The Florida Forest Service uses prescribed fire to manage
these communities in order to maintain the required
habitat for the many unique plants and animals that
occur within them. Included among the different types
of natural communities are sandhill, slope forest, flatwoods,
seepage slope, dome swamp, blackwater stream, and seepage
stream. Photo of bottomland forest.
Rare plants such as Bartram's Ixia (above) and St. John's Susan can be observed, as well as uncommon herbs growing in seepage slope communities.
Raccoon, otter, alligator, and wading birds
can be seen along North Fork Black Creek and other tributaries
found throughout the forest. White-tailed deer, wild turkey,
hawks and song birds can be found in the uplands.
Several ravines can be found in Jennings State Forest,
representing the slow but never ending process of erosion
by the force of water. These ravines are located along
seepage streams leading to North Fork Black Creek. The
spring fed streams are visible when canoeing between Powell
Ford and Ellis Ford on North Fork Black Creek. Photo of ravine.
The forest is open during daylight hours for hiking, bicycling, canoeing, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. Be advised that other recreational activities occur on the forest during seasonal hunts. Overnight primitive camping areas are available by permit only- please contact us to obtain a State Forest Use Permit, or use the iron ranger self service stations.
State Forest contains 3 hiking trails (Fire and Water, Dunn's Farm, and North Fork Black Creek) that are included in the Florida Forest Service's Trailwalker Hiking Program.
- The North Fork Black Creek Trail is a 5 mile loop trail that offers a variety of ecosystems
for the hiker to explore. Canoeing is available on North
Fork and Black Creeks with several landings along the
- The Fire and Water Nature Trail is an informative
1.7 mile trail which will give you an insight into how
fire and water effect the various forest communities
as well as explain our restoration efforts on the forest.
PHOTO: Red-breasted sunfish.
Jennings State Forest is open to regulated hunting and fishing under the direction of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. We encourage non-hunting recreationists to check the Jennings Wildlife Management Area regulations and season dates before visiting Jennings State Forest.
Hunting requires a license and permit and is allowed
only in designated Wildlife Management Areas during appropriate
seasons. Fishing requires a license only.
In keeping with its mission to protect
and manage Florida's forest resources, the Florida Forest Service has developed rules which apply to all State
Forest visitors. Find out more about state forest fees and guidelines.
*State Forest Use Permit Required
| More Activities
Picnicking, Swimming, Hunting
- Florida Forest Service
Jennings State Forest
1337 Longhorn Road
Middleburg, FL 32068
- Telephone: 904/ 291-5530, Monday - Friday
- Email Jennings State Forest