Bisected by Interstate 95 south of Melbourne, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park spans across two counties, protecting a mosaic of pine flatwoods, cypress domes, palmetto prairies, and strand swamp surrounding the St. Sebastian River and its tributaries.
Fees: Free. Primitive camping costs $5 per person per night
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome
This is a place to lose yourself in the wilderness (metaphorically, of course) by hefting a backpack or saddling your horse to explore the vast system of multi-use trails and their primitive campsites. Camping at this preserve is backcountry primitive only.
Paddlers can put in at nearby county parks to explore the preserve’s waterways. Manatee-watchers head for the C-54 canal overlook in winter to watch these gentle giants rest and feed.
Thanks to the preserve’s size and its proximity to urban areas, it offers programs ranging from scrub-jay encounters to swamp tromps; contact their Environmental Learning Center (772-589-5050) for tour dates, types, and costs.