Nature & Science

Explore the maritime forest on the half-mile nature trail.
The nature trail winds through the shady coolness of the maritime forest.

NPS Photo

Nature at Fort Matanzas National Monument

The original national monument site consisted of only the fort on Rattlesnake Island. Through the years, however, the National Park Service has acquired additional land on both Rattlesnake and Anastasia Islands and has been able to preserve a slice of an intact barrier island ecosystem. The river and ocean beaches as well as the .6 mile nature trail offer visitors the opportunity to view a variety of plants and wildlife native to this ecosystem.

Rattlesnake island viewed from the top of the fort
Natural Features & Ecosystems

The forest, dunes, scrubs, and salt marsh ecosystems are able to provide food and shelter for a myriad variety of plants and animals.

Storm over the ocean
Environmental Factors

Find out more about the plants and animals in the park and how best to protect and interpret them.

Bald Eagle standing on Coquina Rocks, at water's edge

Click here to learn about the many animals found here at the park.

A month calendar
Calendar of Events

Click here for upcoming events and ranger led activities.

The red rat snake is one of the prettiest of the non-poisonous snakes.

K. Krysko -- Used by Permission

Snakes and Turtles and Frogs, Oh My!

Dr. F. Wayne King from the University of Florida conducted an extensive survey of the reptiles and amphibians found at Fort Matanzas National Monument. Click HERE for the results of his study complete with information on each species' ecology and habitat and photographs like this one of a red rat snake (corn snake), one of the beautiful, non-venemous snakes at Fort Matanzas.

Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR)


The area around Fort Matanzas National Monument is also part of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR), one of 25 such reserves in the United States. Designated in 1999, GTMNERR is a federal/state partnership administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Click HERE to visit the GTMNERR website.

Last updated: July 16, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

8635 A1A South
Saint Augustine, FL 32080


904 471-0116

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