St. Sebastian River Buffer Preserve
Hiking, jogging, walking and nature study are permitted
throughout the Preserve, except in areas posted as closed or
restricted. Access off of County Road 512, just west of
Sebastian Middle School. The preserve is open for day use
only, except for overnight camping by permit. Horseback
riding allowed. Contact the Preserve Office at (321) 953-5004
to make camping reservations and obtain your permit.
Horseback riding, biking and walking on miles of trails are popular ways to explore this preserve in Brevard and Indian River counties. The St. Sebastian River forms the site's eastern boundary; Canal C-54 bisects it. Open pine flatwoods, seasonal wetlands, hardwood swamp, sandhill and scrubby flatwoods are the dominant habitats here.
In the winter, manatees congregate at the spillway of canal C-54. View them from the viewing platform at the spillway or from the canal levee. The seasonal wetlands host sandhill cranes, wood storks and roseate spoonbills. Bald eagles nest on the property and kestrels and loggerhead strikes are regularly spotted. The sandhill area supports Florida scrub-jays, while Bachman's sparrows, bluebirds and endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers may be seen in the pine flatwoods. Watch for white-tailed deer, turkeys and bobcats along the roads or forest edges near dawn and dusk. Check the hammock areas for migratory songbirds.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection
From I-95, take Exit 70B (Malabar Road or SR 514) north of Vero Beach and go east to Babcock St. (CR 507). Travel 11.5 miles south to Buffer Preserve Drive, on the left, just north of the C-54 canal. Turn east and follow signs to Visitor Center and hiking trailhead. Entrance to the southern end of the site is off of Fellsmere Road (CR 512), 1.8 miles east of the I-95 interchange