The 46,000 acre Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve was established to protect one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast, and to preserve historic and prehistoric sites within the area. The estuarine ecosystem includes salt marsh, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks, all rich in native vegetation and animal life.
Archaeological evidence indicates 6,000 years of human habitation in the area. The arrival of Europeans over 400 years ago resulted in exploration, colonization, agriculture, and commerce under the flags of France, Spain, Great Britain, the Confederacy, and the United States.
The Timucuan Preserve has within its boundaries federal, state, and city park lands, and over 300 private landowners. The National Park Service works through cooperative partnerships with these agencies and private citizens towards a common set of management goals.
The visitor center for the preserve is located at Fort Caroline National
Memorial. The Theodore Roosevelt and Cedar Point areas provide the visitor with access to the marine estuarine environment and surrounding coastal forest for hiking, nature observation, birding, and photography.
Kingsley Plantation, a 19th Century sea-island cotton plantation, provides visitors with a view of plantation life. Exhibits include the planters house, barn, slave quarters, and a small interpretive garden with crops typical of the period.
The Preserve can be accessed from major road and highways in and around Jacksonville.
The preserve visitor center is located near the intersection of Monument Road and Fort Caroline Road, approximately 14 miles east of downtown Jacksonville.