Gourd Island Conservation Area

About this property

The Gourd Island Conservation Area features wetland and upland natural communities, including floodplain swamp, basin swamp, dome swamp, depression marsh, wet flatwoods, mesic flatwoods, sandhill and xeric hammock. The Florida Department of Transportation acquired the property in December 2010 and later donated it to the St. Johns River Water Management District as mitigation for wetland impacts elsewhere. The donation of the property provides significant water resource protection for Durbin and Sampson creeks, which border the property to the north. The property included a JEA (formerly Jacksonville Electric Authority) easement for the installation of a utility pipeline and perpetual maintenance of that pipeline. Completed in 2011, the pipeline is primarily located beneath the main access road, which extends into the conservation area from the parking area and trailhead.

One of the special highlights of this property is the fantastic swamp that the trails bisect. The swamp forms a gourd-shaped island, giving Gourd Island its name. The center part of the property rises high above the swamp to provide some wonderful upland habitats. This center “island” area has been part of a sandhill restoration project since 2012.

Wildlife viewing

Please respect Florida’s wildlife and use caution while visiting district lands. These are wild animals. For your safety, do not approach or feed any wild animal. Wildlife that may be seen in the area includes gopher tortoise, deer, otter, multiple bird species and the American alligator.

Recreational activities
  1. Activities include hiking, bicycling and wildlife viewing.
  2. Geocache located on property. Please visit our geocache database for more information.

Located off Russell Sampson Road. For details and to get driving directions from your location, see the Google Maps link on this page.