Alexander Springs Wilderness

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Encompassing 7,941 acres, this wilderness area between Alexander Springs and Lake Dexter - one of the many lakes in the St. Johns River chain of lakes - is a trackless place, with a paddle down the spring run your primary option to explore the mosaic of hardwood swamp, hardwood forest and scrub habitats.

Boating

  • A canoe rental and launch at Alexander Springs provides access to the sinuous creek. The waterway widens dramatically after making the first major curve but is split up by stands of tall grass and many small islands. There is no official haul-back, so most paddlers go out and back along the mazy run.

Backpacking

  • Walk along the edge of the Alexander Springs Wilderness both on the segment of the Florida Trail between Clearwater Lake and Alexander Springs and on the long loop of the St. Francis Trail. Pilings remain for the ghost town of St. Francis along the St. Francis Dead River. As you walk along the Florida Trail due west from this point, the Alexander Springs Wilderness is on your right, where a portion of the once-bustling port city used to be.

Nature Viewing

  • Expect to see ancient shell middens beneath dense shoreline vegetation, and small islands topped with cypress and palm trees, as well as otters, wading birds, deer and alligators. 

At a Glance

Restrictions:
  • Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
  • Visitors must pack in their drinking water and pack out any waste.
  • Camp at least 200 feet from trails/roads and 100 feet from water sources.
  • Follow Leave No Trace Principles: Plan ahead and prepare; travel and camp on durable surfaces; dispose of waste properly; leave what you find; minimize campfire impacts; respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors.
Checking in at a district office is a good idea, to inform someone of your travel plans and get the latest info on weather conditions. The staff can also inform you about any campfire ban in effect during times of high fire danger.
Closest Towns: Altoona (16 miles) and Astor (13 miles)
Information Center: View an interactive map of the wilderness area on Wilderness.net.

General Information

Directions:

From Altoona

  • At the intersection of FL19 and Bent Tree Road, head north. In about 5 miles, turn right on County Road 445. Follow this road for 6 miles, then turn right on Forest Road 18. After 2 miles, turn right and continue on Forest Road 18. 

From Astor

  • From the bridge over the St. Johns River in Astor, head west on FL40. After about 2.5 miles, turn left onto County Road 445A. In another 0.5 miles, turn left onto County Road 445. In 5 miles, turn left onto Forest Road 18. After 2 miles, turn right and continue on Forest Road 18.

General Notes:

Amenities

  • None

Licenses and Passes 

Boating 

  • Boating in the National Forests in Florida is regulated by the state of Florida. Please visit our boating web page before you grab your personal floatation device and head out onto the water.  

Camping – Dispersed/Primitive Camping 

  • Many people enjoy this solitude and primitive experience, but knowing your limits, skills and abilities is a must. Following certain rules and regulations will help make your experience safer and ensure settings remain unspoiled.  

Fishing 


General Notes:

Amenities

  • None

Licenses and Passes 

Boating 

  • Boating in the National Forests in Florida is regulated by the state of Florida. Please visit our boating web page before you grab your personal floatation device and head out onto the water.  

Camping – Dispersed/Primitive Camping 

  • Many people enjoy this solitude and primitive experience, but knowing your limits, skills and abilities is a must. Following certain rules and regulations will help make your experience safer and ensure settings remain unspoiled.  

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Hiking

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Nature Viewing

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Water Activities

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Areas & Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
29.0679

  Longitude : 
-81.4794

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/florida/recarea/?recid=83556