Guana River State Park is located along A1A just north of St. Augustine. Few places exemplify Florida's beauty the way this place does. It is historical preservation the way nature intended it and it is as close to pristine as I've seen. For those of you who are history buffs a 1592 account by a Spanish historian has led present day historians to believe that Guana River was the site of Ponce de Leon's first landing in Florida but the precise location is still unknown.
According to the state of Florida within its (the GTMNER) 73,352 acres are beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes, mangroves, tidal wetlands, tidal creeks, oyster bars, estuarine lagoons, maritime hardwood hammock, freshwater depression marshes, pond pine flatwoods and shell mound forests. It is also an important calving ground for the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The Guana River State Park which is part of the GTMNER (Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve) is where I landed, me and Ponce de Leon. For me, what's most interesting about this place is its awe inspiring beauty. I think Ponce de Leon was inspired by its beauty as well since he named it La Florida or place of flowers. It can provoke quiet reflection through a nature hike or kayak trip but it can also inspire the minds of a whole hoard of fourth graders at its research facility or one single eleven year old transforming the idea of snow angels into sea angels on its beach. You'll know when you see it that this is how it was meant to be. You may even feel as though you've just discovered La Florida!
|Looking toward the park from the beach dunes.|
|Above the dunes.|