Property of the month feature

Explore the diverse landscapes of Black Creek Ravines Conservation Area

March 7, 2024

Small bench at an overlook of a creek

Black Creek Ravines Conservation Area in Clay County helps protect unique seepage slopes along the creek.

Named for its unique geological features, Black Creek Ravines Conservation Area is a hidden gem in Clay County. The 964-acre property is one of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s most distinctive lands and offers an array of passive, resource-based recreation.

“The steep ravines and seepage slopes are about a mile long and average a 30-foot depth, from top of bank to bottom of trough, which is unusual to see in Florida,” says Tyler Mosteller, the District’s North Region land manager. “While on the property, you’ll see a range of elevations, ecosystems, wildlife and, of course, the creek.”

The conservation area borders 2.7 miles of riverfront on the south shore of Black Creek, which helps maintain the vital recharge function of the upland sandhill community, an imperiled natural habitat. District lands protect and preserve water resources while also safeguarding plant and wildlife habitat and providing spaces for public recreation and environmental education.

Over 5 miles of trails make Black Creek Ravines popular for hiking, trail running, nature viewing and horseback riding. With a half dozen natural communities, including sandhills, flatwoods, hammocks and floodplain swamps, visitors may see wading birds, woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, bald eagles, otters, deer or even alligators. Bartram’s ixia, a rare endemic state-endangered wildflower, seasonally blooms on the ravine’s edges. An overlook of Black Creek stands almost 30 feet above the water, providing a remarkable view.

“The bluff has a great vantage point; you can see over the creek about half a mile north,” Mosteller explains.

The bluff has a great vantage point; you can see over the creek about half a mile north.

Tyler Mosteller, District North Region land manager

For those looking for an opportunity to unplug from the hustle and bustle of modern life, the conservation area offers the authentic outdoor experience of primitive tent camping. There is a first-come, first-served campsite accessible by foot or boat near the creek bank and a group campsite (advance reservation required) closer to the ravines.

Discover the diverse landscapes of Black Creek Ravines Conservation Area for yourself! Check out the District’s online recreation guide for a property map, driving directions and more at

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