Etoniah Creek State Forest contains 8,876 acres of various natural communities. The forest was acquired as part of the Etoniah/Cross Florida Greenway Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) project. Etoniah Creek State Forest is named after Etonia Creek, a stream that travels 2.5 miles through the eastern portion of the forest.
Etoniah Creek State Forest is located in northern Putnam County in northeast Florida. The forest headquarters is located northeast of Florahome. From Florahome, go 2 miles east to Holloway Road. Go north on Holloway Road 2.6 miles to the second forest road on the right (Fieldhouse Road). The office is 1/2 mile down Fieldhouse Road.
Several of the streams found on Etoniah Creek State Forest, including Etoniah Creek, Rice Creek and Falling Branch, drift through scenic bottomland hardwoods and are lined with steep, sloping banks. They flow out of George's Lake, which has 491 feet of lake frontage along the state forest boundary.
The forest is home to a variety of wildlife and is part of a wildlife corridor that offers the black bear a vast roaming area, a necessity for its survival. Other types of wildlife commonly found on the forest include white-tailed deer, bobcat, fox squirrel, wild turkey, eastern diamondback rattlesnake and great horned owl.
Species found on the forest that are listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern include the eastern indigo snake, gopher tortoise, and Florida scrub jay. Etoniah Rosemary (Conradina etonia) is an endangered plant that was first described in 1991 and is found mostly in scrub habitat. Etoniah Creek State Forest contains the only known population of Etoniah Rosemary found on public land.
Recreational activities on the forest include hiking, fishing, hunting, nature study, wildlife viewing and photography. There is one designated trail for horseback riding, and trails for bicycling will be established in the future.
Etoniah Creek State Forest contains a hiking trail, the Longleaf Pine Trail, that is included in the Florida Forest Service's Trailwalker Program. The trailhead for the Longleaf Pine Trail is located 200 yards off Coral Farms Road on Tinsley Road.
This trail is marked in blue. Information on the Trailwalker hiking program is available at the Hollister Work Center, which is located 7 miles east of Interlachen on U.S. Highway 20; at the forest headquarters, which is located 10 miles west of Palatka on U.S. Highway 100; and at the trailhead kiosk. Information is also available by calling (850) 681-5884.
Etoniah Creek State Forest is managed as a Wildlife Management Area by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Hunting is permitted only during designated seasons.
In keeping with its mission to protect and manage Florida's forest resources, the Florida Forest Service has developed rules that apply to all state forest visitors. Find out more about state forest fees and rules.