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Guided Explorations at the GTM Research Reserve *event descriptions below

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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve


Event description


Make sure to select the date corresponding to the activity in which you're interested. Also, please note that events take place at different locations. Please click on the link next to the event for a map to the specific meeting place.

Join the GTM Research Reserve on a guided exploration of our beautiful estuary ecosystem. Below are briefs descriptions of the offered explorations.

Guided Exploration Hike (click here for map)

On the first Saturday of every month, from 8:30-10:30 a.m., visitors can learn about the cultural history of the Guana Peninsula as well as the natural biodiversity of the reserve during a guided hike. Hear about the peninsula’s 5,000 years of human history, including how native peoples used estuarine resources, what European plantation life was like and current efforts to learn about and save these resources.

Family Seining (click here for map)

On the second and fourth Saturday of every month, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. we lead a guided family seining activity. Visitors will get the chance to pull a seine net through Guana Lake, collecting species of fish, crabs and more, and then learn about the animals and their roles in the habitat. All necessary gear including waders and boots will be provided.

River-to-Sea Preserve Guided Trail Walk (click here for map) None scheduled until the fall season.

The GTM Research Reserve offers you an opportunity to follow the wooded trail to the Matanzas River at the River-to-Sea Preserve. An interpretive guide will tell you all about old Florida's moss-laden trees, seasonal flowering shrubs, and Native American lore including how they used various plants for food, beverage and medicine. This event meets at the entrance to the River-to-Sea Preserve, at the parking lot on Ocean Shore Blvd, Palm Coast, FL. (click here for map)


  1. Do I need a reservation to attend? Yes, please register online by following the links provided above.

  2. If I can’t make it, how do I cancel my reservation? Upon making the reservation you should have received an email confirmation. There is information about canceling within the email. Since a lot of our guided family programs are full, we strongly encourage you to cancel (as opposed to just not showing up) so that we may accommodate another person/family.

  3. How old does my child need to be to attend? There is no age limit for who may attend this event. In order to hold the seine net, the child needs to be at least three feet tall.

  4. What should I wear? Please wear clothing that is appropriate for outdoors. It’s always recommended to dress in layers and prepare for any type of weather. We strongly encourage that you wear closed-toe shoes, and strongly discourage wearing flip-flops. For Family Seining, we will provide booties and waders, but you are welcome to bring your own gear.

  5. How long are the walks? Round trip, the River-to-Sea walk is a bit less than one mile. The walk takes about an hour and a half. The guided exploration hike is ~2.2 miles round trip and follows the Yellow Trail (CLICK HERE for a Trail Map), and takes ~1.5 hours.

  6. What should I bring? Please bring a reusable water bottle (that can be filled up onsite), insect repellent (strongly recommended), sunscreen, and binoculars/camera.

  7. Can I bring my dog? You are welcome to bring a dog. Please keep in mind that all dogs must remain on a leash, and all waste must be promptly cleaned by the owner. To be part of the seining activity, two hands are needed, therefore the dog owner will only watch the activity. Please be mindful of other visitors when bringing a dog.

  8. Where should I meet my guide? CLICK HERE for a Google Map. Your guide will be waiting at Guana Dam 15 minutes prior to the scheduled program. The event begins at 8:30am.

  9. What will I catch? The seine nets will catch various types of fish, crab, shrimp, shells, and plant life.

  10. Are there any fees? For the guided hike and family seining, only a $3/vehicle fee for parking (paid at arrival). Only cash is accepted. The River-to-Sea walk does not have any fees.

  11. Is there anything else to see afterwards? You’re welcome to have lunch at the Trailhead Pavilion and try out one of our many trails. You will also have access to the beaches at our South, Middle, and North access lots (for which your parking tag will apply for same-day use, might as well get your $3 worth). You can visit our Environmental Education Center (there is a fee, $2/adult — $1/10-17yrs — FREE for 9 and under).


Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve


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