Thomas Creek WMA - King's Road Unit

Managed in cooperation with the
St. Johns River Water Management District
City of Jacksonville

 

photo of Thomas Creek
David Moynahan

The Thomas Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) occupies 2,429 acres in northern Duval County, within three miles of the Jacksonville International Airport. The WMA is one of five units of the Thomas Creek Conservation Area, which covers approximately 5,540 acres in both Nassau and Duval counties along Thomas Creek. Within the region, which has become increasingly urbanized, the conservation area provides valuable flood and water quality protection, and provides healthy, diverse habitat for wildlife and nature-based recreational opportunities. Meandering, steep-sided Thomas Creek originates in southwest Nassau County and flows east/northeast to the Nassau River, forming the northern boundary of the WMA. The conservation area protects 10 miles of the creek's shoreline.

Like most of the conservation area, the King's Road Unit was formerly managed for commercial timber. Much of the upland portions consist of slash pine plantation. The floodplain swamps along Thomas Creek are dominated by cypress, tupelo and titi. The St. Johns River Water Management District manages the area using a combination of timber harvesting, groundcover restoration, reforestation and controlled burns. The City of Jacksonville manages recreation. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission administers hunting related activities. Wildlife on the area includes deer, turkey, wild hog, northern bobwhite and numerous species of resident and migratory songbirds. Snapping turtle, Florida cooter and otter occur along the creek.

Recreational opportunities on the area include hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding and bicycling. Two loop trails, with parking areas, are located on both sides of U.S. Hwy. 1. The trails accommodate hikers, bicyclists and equestrians; motorized vehicles are prohibited. Between September and April, quota hunts take place on limited days. They include seasons for archery, muzzleloading gun, family hunt, general gun, small game and spring turkey. Fishing is permitted year-round. The WMA is open to the public from sunrise to sunset, year-round, except during the family hunt and the archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun and spring turkey seasons, when public access is restricted to individuals participating in the hunts. Check the Wildlife Management Area regulations for more detailed information about hunting seasons.

For more information: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (386) 758-0525, MyFWC.com/recreation and the St. Johns River Water Management District (386) 329-4404, SJRWMD.com/recreation.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed only during non-hunting periods, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  • Hunting dogs may be taken onto the WMA after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season.  Hunting deer or wild hog with dogs is prohibited. Only bird dogs and dogs with a shoulder height of less than 15 inches may be used for hunting. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.



FWC Facts:
Within 24 hours of hatching, young whooping cranes can follow their parents away from the nest. Together, they forage for plants, insects, snakes, frogs and small animals.

Learn More at AskFWC