St. Marys River Guide
For more information
bout the St. Marys River
The St. Marys River is a remote blackwater stream, located in southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida, forming the easternmost border between the two states.
While visiting the river, you may see many native plant species, including bald cypress, longleaf pine, black gum, southern magnolia, red maple, American holly, poplar, black willow, river birch and a variety of oaks.
River guide maps
The St. Marys serves as critical habitat for numerous rare, threatened or endangered species, including 23 kinds of plants and 54 kinds of animals. Wildlife in this area include porpoise, manatee, osprey, bald eagle, white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, raccoon, otter, beaver, gopher tortoise, alligator and indigo snake.
Canoeing, boating, fishing, camping and water-skiing can be enjoyed on the river.
lood and Shoreline Protection
Shorelines are fragile and susceptible to erosion. The following guidelines will help to minimize erosion and maximize river aesthetics:
- Maximize and/or retain native shoreline vegetation.
- Maintain a vegetative buffer between the river and structures.
- Construct access walkways and smaller docks.
More than 65 species of fish have been identified in the St. Marys River. At the river’s mouth, the estuarine system provides fishing enthusiasts with an abundance of redfish, spotted sea trout and flounder. Largemouth bass, panfish and catfish inhabit much of the middle and upper portions of the St. Marys.
Anglers may fish either side of the river and need a valid Florida or Georgia fishing license.
For more information, contact:
- In Georgia — (800) 366-2661
- In Florida — (888) 347-4356
Remember: Atlantic sturgeon is a protected species in Florida and Georgia.
The channel of the St. Marys River is tidally influenced for 50 miles upriver with an average depth of 20‒30 feet. Visitors should check weather conditions and tides before launching.
- Along the upper river, there are many “S” turns and oxbows, with numerous white sandbars.
- The upper stretches are unsuitable for powered craft.
- Heavy rainfall or dry conditions can affect sections of the river, such as from the headwaters in Moniac, Ga., to the State Road 121 bridge just north of Macclenny, Fla.
- Reliable paddling depth starts at the State Road 121 bridge north of Macclenny.
- Conditions favorable for water-skiing are found from Camp Pickney eastward. The sport is not allowed from the railroad trestle westward and is limited between the trestle and Camp Pickney.
- Boaters should be aware of sandbars, shoals, blind curves, and floating and underwater logs and take appropriate safety measures when encountering these hazards. High water conditions can also present dangers.
Various camping sites exist along the St. Marys River.
Much of the land bordering the river is privately owned; therefore, permission should be obtained from the landowner to camp.
When camping, please respect the environment and remember to do the following:
- Take out what you bring in.
- Use only down and dead vegetation for fires.
- Extinguish all campfires.
- St. Marys Cove Landing — Park offers boat and canoe launch, fishing and a picnicking area.
- Trader’s Hill Park — Park offers boat and canoe launch, fishing, and picnicking and camping areas.
- Camp Pinckney Landing — Park offers boat and canoe launch and a picnicking area.
- Ralph E. Simmons Memorial State Forest — Park offers boat and canoe launch at Scotts Landing, primitive camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and bicycling. Hunting is allowed with a permit from the Nassau County Tax Collector.
- Temple Landing — Park offers boat and canoe launch, a picnicking area and playground.
Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach/Yulee Chamber of Commerce:
Greater Nassau County Chamber of Commerce:
Baker County Chamber of Commerce:
Camden-Kings Bay Area Chamber of Commerce:
Okefenokee Chamber of Commerce:
Also visit the website of the
St. Marys River Management Committee