Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area

Entrance Sign Picnic Pavillion

Three Forks encompasses nearly 52,000 acres of marsh lands near the headwaters of the St. Johns River. The first signs of the river appear as a three prong fork (hence the name Three Forks) just south of Lake Hell 'n Blazes.

Levee Work Torn Up Levee

At Three Forks, a vast network of levees is being constructed to impound the water runoff from neighboring agricultural lands. Much of it has already been completed and is open to the public.

Three Forks Panoramic Shot

360 panoramic shot of the Three Forks Marsh area.

Location

Located in west Brevard County near Palm Bay, Florida. Runs along the eastern edge of the St. Johns River between US Hwy 192 and the Fellsmere Grade.

Directions

From I-95 exit 173, take CR 514 (Malabar Road) west until it dead ends (about 8 miles). Park entrance will be on your left.

Hours

Area is open from 7:00 A.M. until 8:30 P.M. Gates close promptly so don't get locked in.

Camping

Camp Sign at North Indian Field North Indian Field Campsite

Three Forks has four primitive campsites: Bulldozer Canal Camp, Spade Island Camp, East Union Cypress Camp and North Indian Field Camp. These campsites are usually only accessible by boat. At the North Indian Field campsites, you'll find numerous raised platforms for tents, nice picnic tables and in-ground grills.

East Union Cypress Campsite Saw Grass Lake East Union Cypress Tent Pads

At East Union Cypress campsite is located on top of the old railroad grade. It has two tent pads and a table overlooking Little Sawgrass Lake.

Bulldozer Cabin #1 Bulldozer Cabin #2 

Kitchen with Well Pump Kitchen with Gas Stove Bedroom with Bunk Beds

Bulldozer Canal campsite includes two rustic cabins.  Each has a propane stove, well pump and hookups for an electric generator. One has enough bunk beds for eight people.

Shelters

Willows Shelter

You're a long ways from civilization if you find yourself in this spot. Willows Shelter is about 6.6 miles from the nearest parking lot. It's typically used by boaters in the event they get caught out on the river during a storm. You don't want to break down out here.

Wildlife

Ibises Huge Gator White Tail Deer

You're likely to see plenty of aquatic birds, such as ibises, herons and anhinga. Of course, where there's water there's alligators. Big ones too. Surprisingly there are quite a few deer in this area. They must like all the grass and the wide open areas. 

History

The north end of Three Forks has seen a lot of history. Between 1912 and 1932  the Union Cypress Railroad use to cross this area and over the St. Johns River. You can still see the trestles and the raised ground it was on. One of the train stations known as Alpha was built not far from where the railroad crossed the river on the east side.

During that same time period up until 1937 Pershing Platt and his family use to live on the Indian midden known as North Indian Fields. There's no sign of their house anymore, but you can still see the road that was built by the county so the family could ride into town. Half the year it was underwater due to the summer rains.

Three Forks has three Indian middens: the South Indian Fields (privately owned), located at the end of Malabar Road; the Middle Indian Fields, located 1.5 miles northwest of South Indian Fields; and the North Indian Fields, situated .25 miles southeast of Little Sawgrass Lake.

Hunting

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages hunting in the Three Forks Marshes. For up-to-date information on regulations and current hunting schedules, please go to MyFWC.com.
Hunting Schedule 2012 - 2013
Archery Sep. 15 - Oct. 14
Muzzle Gun Oct. 20 - 28
General Gun Nov. 3 - Jan. 13
Small Game Jan. 14 - Mar. 3
Youth Turkey Mar. 9 - 10
Spring Turkey Mar. 16 - Apr. 21

Maps

Color Infrared Aerial Map (North) Color Infrared Aerial Map (South)

GPS Data

File Formats Downloads
Garmin MapSource trails.mps
TopoGraphix ExpertGPS trails.gpx
Google Earth trails.kmz

Flowers

Lantana Southern Fleabane White Clover
Lantana Southern Fleabane White Clover
Wild Bushbean Soda Apple Spiny Sow Thistle
Wild Bushbean Soda Apple Spiny Sow Thistle

Local Weather

Trail Notes

Outflow Dam near the St. Johns River

T.M. Goodwin Observation Tower Observation Tower View

Additional Information

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Last updated on 21-Mar-2013.