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St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

 Activities at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

Bicycling

Bicycling

Only mountain bikes or fat-tire bikes are recommended due to wilderness trail conditions including soft sand, logs, palmetto stems and natural vegetation. Please remain on designated trails. No off-road biking is permitted due to the rare and endangered species of plants and animals being protected on the Preserve.

Camping, Equestrian

Camping, Equestrian

Three of the primitive campsites are available for horse camping for groups up to 20 people. Storytelling Camp/Horsemen's Headquarters in Brevard County has five paddocks, non-potable water for horses, a pitcher pump, picnic pavilion, one portable toilet, a campfire ring and benches. Ranch Camp in Indian River County has four paddocks, non-potable water for horses, a campfire ring and benches. Eagle Camp in Indian River County has one large paddock, a lean-to, a campfire ring and benches. Eagle Camp is a ride-in only site requiring a five-mile ride each way from the parking area. Proof of negative Coggins test must be carried at all times. 

Hammock camping is allowed in this camping area.

 
Reservations are required, payable by cash or check. You will need to provide vehicle tag numbers for each vehicle staying in the park overnight. The County Road 512 entrance gate is locked at 5 p.m. and the County Road 507 entrance gate is locked at sunset. Gates open by 8:00 a.m. A camper's combination is available. To make reservations or get directions, call the park Monday through Thursday, (321) 953-5005 or call (321) 953-5004 Friday through Sunday. Pets are prohibited for overnight camping.

Camping, Group

Camping, Group

Five of six primitive tent camp sites are available for groups up to 20 people. Larger groups can sometimes be accommodated. Fees are $5 per person, per night, payable by cash or check. Reservations are required. Vehicle tag numbers must be provided for each vehicle staying in the park overnight.

Hammock camping is allowed in this camping area.

The County Road 512 entrance gate is locked at 5 p.m. and the County Road 507 entrance gate is locked at sunset. Gates open by 8 a.m. A camper's combination is available. Pets are prohibited for overnight camping. To make reservations or get directions, call the park Monday through Thursday at (321) 953-5005 or (321) 953-5004 Friday through Sunday.

Camping, Primitive

Camping, Primitive

Primitive tent camping is available at six campsites. All sites are hike-in only. Two are located on the north side of the park in Brevard County off County Road 507. Four are located on the south side of the park in Indian River County off County Road 512. Firewood collection is prohibited. You'll need to pack in all food, water and firewood and pack out all trash. Pets are prohibited for overnight camping.

Hammock camping is allowed in this camping area.
 
Reservations are required, payable by cash or check. You will need to provide vehicle tag numbers for each vehicle staying in the park overnight. The County Road 512 entrance gate is locked at 5 p.m. and the County Road 507 entrance gate is locked at sunset. Gates open by 8:00 a.m. A camper’s combination is available. To make reservations or get directions, call the park Monday through Thursday, (321) 953-5005 or call (321) 953-5004 Friday through Sunday. Pets are prohibited for overnight camping.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

No launching of canoes or kayaks is permitted on the Preserve. However, launching is available nearby at Donald MacDonald Park or Dale Wimbrow Park (both off Roseland Road) or at the Indian River County canoe launch north of the intersection of CR512 and CR510. The county's launch site requires a two-hour paddle to reach the Preserve's canoe landing. You might plan to stop along the river and have a picnic or take a hike on the preserve before paddling on to your disembarkation point.

Fishing

Fishing

Fishing is permitted in ponds on the preserve, the shoreline of the C-54 canal and in the St. Sebastian River. The water in the St. Sebastian River is brackish which sustains both freshwater and saltwater species. Some examples of species found in the river are tarpon, snook, bass and mullet. Please make sure to abide by all State of Florida rules and regulations regarding fishing and licenses. Licenses can be obtained at most bait and tackle shops or at any county tax collector's office.

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

The preserve has 60 miles of trails about equally split between Brevard and Indian River Counties. Most of our trails are very long and are more suited for horseback riding, mountain biking and extended hikes. All visitors should bring water and sun protection. Those wanting a chance to see Florida scrub jays should park on the southwest side of the preserve (one mile west of I-95 off CR512). Endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers can be seen on the northeast side of the preserve. Park at the Stumper Flats or Horseman's Headquarters parking areas.

Horse/Equestrian Trail

Horse/Equestrian Trail

The preserve maintains 60 miles of trails, with most being available for horseback riding. Trails marked with a blue hikers-only sign should not be used for riding. For additional information about facilities supporting horseback riding, please read about horse camping.

Picnic Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion

Two picnic pavilions are located on the southeast side of the preserve in Indian River County. No advance reservations are required. Pavilions are used on a first-come, first-served basis.

Picnicking

Picnicking

One remote picnic area is available in Brevard County at Horseman's Headquarters. No advance reservations are required. One unprotected picnic table is available at the manatee viewing area in Brevard County.  Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited.

Restroom Facilities

Restroom Facilities

We have a Clivus Multrum (large Port-o-let) located on the north side of the park, which is ADA accessible.

Tours

Tours

Guided hikes, wagon rides and scrub jay encounters run from October through May. Please call the Environmental Learning Center (772.589.5050) for tour dates, times and fees. Swamp tromps and group field trips are provided by request only. Please contact the Preserve office (321.953.5004) for more information.

Visitor Center

Visitor Center

The visitor center is open Friday through Sunday, 10;00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the northwest side of the preserve in Brevard County. Trail maps for each section of the preserve can be obtained here. Stop by to see our skull collection, an ancient mastodon bone, a red-cockaded woodpecker cavity and many other interesting items. The Visitor's Center is wheelchair accessible.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing. West Indian manatees gather in the C54 canal from November through March and can be observed at the eastern end of Buffer Preserve Drive in Brevard County. Other wildlife viewing includes birds, deer, coyote, bobcat, wild turkey, quail, eastern indigo snakes and gopher tortoises. Alligators can be seen in the St. Sebastian River and the C54 canal. If you see alligators while on the river, please give them a wide berth and do not attempt to feed or molest them. Although rare, alligators have been known to make unprovoked attacks on pets and humans, so please keep your distance.
BirdingThe Preserve is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and has been identified as one of the top birding locations in the United States. Many different species of birds use the preserve during migration, such as the swallow-tailed kite, various songbirds, hawks, hummingbirds and robins. Please look at our bird checklist to see which birds are here during each season. Our most popular birds are red-cockaded woodpeckers, Florida scrub jays and Bachman's sparrows. More common sightings include sandhill cranes, wood storks, southern bald eagles and American kestrels.