Jennings State Forest

Location | Natural Features | Recreation | Contacts

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 State Forest.

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.

Location

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. 

Natural Features 

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.

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.

 

Recreation

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 waterways.
  • 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.

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.

Trails Campsites Other
Hike Bike Horse Canoe Camp
 sites
with
 Electric
Leashed
 Pets OK
More Activities
Check Mark none Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark
 Primitive*
none Check Mark Picnicking, Swimming, Hunting

 *State Forest Use Permit Required

Great Florida Birding Trail
Trailtrotter Program
Explore the Forest on Horseback
This state forest is part of the Trailwalker Hiking Program. Jennings State Forest is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.
Jennings Bird Checklist [Adobe PDF Document 305.71 KB]

Contact Us

Florida Forest Service 
Jennings State Forest
1337 Longhorn Road
Middleburg, Florida 32068

(904) 291-5530, Monday - Friday

Email Jennings State Forest