Nestled between the beaches and big city of Jacksonville, immerse yourself in nature in the pine flatwoods that protect the water quality of the Nassau and St. Johns Rivers.
The expansive pine flatwoods protect the water quality of the Nassau and St. Johns rivers, ensuring the survival of aquatic plants and animals and providing an important refuge for birds. Wildlife is abundant and ranges from the threatened American alligator to the endangered wood stork.
Equestrians, hikers and off-road bicyclists can explore over 15 miles of multi-use trails that wind through the park's many different natural communities and connect to the trail systems of the adjacent City Preserves for even more miles of exploration. Pumpkin Hill Creek can be accessed at canoe/kayak launch or by either of the two creek overlook trails, which are perfect fishing spots.
For the adventurous bicycler, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve offers varied intermediate terrain through pine flatwoods and sandhill communities. Cycling may be challenging in spots due to soft sandy soils and trails are subject to seasonal flooding. The bicycling trails are anchored at the main parking area.
Florida law requires children 16 and under to wear helmets at all times when bicycling.
The long leaf pine forests of Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve provide excellent birding opportunities. Song birds, owls, woodpeckers, turkey and bobwhite are some of the yearlong residents. During the winter months, a pair of American Bald Eagles nest in the pines. Woodstorks, roseate spoonbills and egrets fish the salt marsh. Be sure to bring your binoculars and your field guide along on your birding trip.
The creeks adjacent to Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve are crucial in maintaining a healthy habitat for plants and animals, and provide the paddling enthusiast hours of exploration through pristine estuarine habitats. Access to Pumpkin Hill Creek is available for canoes and kayaks via a hand launch area at the end of Pumpkin Hill Road. The scenic launch area offers parking, picnic tables and restroom facilities. There is a short portage from the parking area to the launch site.
Visitors must bring their own equipment. No rentals are available at this location.
There are three access points to unspoiled tidal creeks adjacent to park property.
Fishing is permitted in accordance with Florida state law. Please go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to obtain the most current saltwater fishing regulations and to obtain a fishing license online. The park does not sell fishing licenses. All fishing within the park must conform to the regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.
Explore the park in a new and challenging way. Experienced Geocachers have requested permission to hide caches containing trinkets, treasures, or information in various places around the park. Please check the Geocaching website for the most current and up-to-date information and clues to locate these caches.
Operation Recreation GeoTour
Miles of trails at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve offer an immersive experience in Florida's coastal upland habitats. Explore Longleaf Pine ecosystems of sandhill and scrubby flatwoods, basin swamps and salt marsh creeks. Hike to the gazebo and eat a picnic lunch under the shade. Visit the eagle's nest during the winter months for wildlife viewing. Get educated about exotic invasive plants at the Alternative interpretive garden trail. Extend your hike and use our trails to connect to adjacent City of Jacksonville parks Betz Tiger Point, Cedar Point and the Jim Wingate Preserve.
The Nature Trails are anchored at the main parking area and are open to hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Both the hiking and multi-use trails connect to city trails at the north, south and western edge of the park.
Hiking Trail loop - 3 miles
AlterNative Interpretive Garden Trail - 1/5 mile
Red Square - 4.08 miles
Orange Diamond - 0.88 miles
Green Triangle - 1.47 miles
Blue Circle - 6.23 miles
NO vehicular traffic is permitted. If you choose to use the trails, always check in at the ranger station and remember your water and insect repellant. For more information or a copy of trail brochures, contact the park office at (904) 696-5980.
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve offers five different picnic areas. Two are located adjacent to Pumpkin Hill Creek overlooking the salt marsh. Eat under the pine trees at the main parking picnic area or pack out a lunch on a hike or trail ride and stop at one of our two trailside picnic areas.
Wildlife at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park is abundant. The park serves as home for white-tailed deer, turkey, gopher tortoise, fox squirrels, pocket gophers, red tailed hawk, fox, and various forest dwelling songbirds. If you're lucky and up early, you may catch a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring above or imperiled wood stork nesting in the cypress groves. But keep an eye to the ground for timber rattlesnakes warming themselves on the trails.
Horse Equestrian Trail
Pumpkin Hill Creek is a horseback rider's dream. Miles of pleasant sandy trails stretch out across the preserve offering visitors back country views of natural communities and wildlife. Equestrian trails within the preserve connect to adjacent City of Jacksonville parks to provide additional riding opportunities. Anchored at the main parking area, the trails connect north to Betz Tiger Preserve, south to Cedar Point Preserve and west to the Jim Wingate Preserve. Take a break at our picnic area on the Blue Circle trail and water your horse at the trough.
Equestrians ride at their own risk and must provide proof of negative Coggins test when riding on state lands. Trails are subject to temporary closure due to seasonal flooding. Please practice proper trail etiquette and be respectful of other trail users. For more information or brochures, contact the park office at (904) 696-5980.
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of its visitors. Those amenities include:
Interpretive display at Visitor Center/Park Office
Picnic areas at canoe/kayak launch and main parking lot
Creek overlook at canoe/kayak launch
Information kiosks and interpretive panels
UTAP Trail Information for trail network
Well-behaved pets are welcome at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve on our hiking trails, picnic areas, paved park roads, parking lots and multi-use trails but not on the shoreline. This is due to the sensitive nature of this natural resource and its inhabitants. Endangered nesting and resting shorebirds or turtles can easily be disturbed. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and cannot be left unattended.
Restroom facilities are located at the main parking lot, park office and at canoe/kayak hand launch area at the end of Pumpkin Hill Road.
Canoe Kayak Launch
Tour the tranquil salt marsh waters of Pumpkin Hill Creek by canoe or kayak. Park and launch your vessel from the canoe/kayak hand launch at the end of Pumpkin Hill Road on the eastern side. Enjoy lunch at one of our picnic tables at the parking area after your paddle. For more information or a waterways map, contact the park office at (904) 696-5980..