Located in the northwestern half of Volusia County, Florida, this 21,000+ acres of forest has been a beehive of activity from the earliest settlers, the Native Americans and their Midden mounds to modern man and his power boats. Bluffton mound and Midden area is a rich archeological site filled with the previous inhabitant’s ancient relics and waste.
Bordered by US 17 on its eastern half and flanked on its western side by the St. Johns River, the Lake George State Forest is a jumping off point for many boating and angling enthusiasts. Many world class freshwater fishing opportunities are available at the many headwaters of Lake Georges springs, Juniper Springs, Slat Springs and Alexander Springs are all first magnitude springs that give this freshwater lake its freshwater and fish.
The Bluffton Recreation Area, located off of US 40 running through the center of the forest, runs next to the St. Johns River on River Road. A short hiking trail around the area traverses many slash pine, hardwood hammocks and cypress depressions. Wildlife is an easy find here with turkeys, waterfowl and deer around nearly every corner. Brown bears are known to lurk in this area so be careful!
Besides seeing the wildlife by foot, you can view it by boat to. Although no boat ramp is available within the state forest, other areas west on US 40 have access to Lake George and the St. Johns River. Canoes, john boats and kayaks can easily be launched from the bank at Bluffton Recreation Area.
Hunting is a part of the recreation and can be done during the winter months. If you’re not hunting, don’t forget the orange vest and hat when traveling through the forest during hunting season.
Primitive camping is available at Bluffton Recreation Area, but a State Forest use permit must be filled out before hand. Several areas along the river bank make for perfect camp spots for extended fishing excursions.
Just up the road from Bluffton Recreation Area on Truck Trail 7 is Jenkins Pond. Fishing from the shore can offer a few bites. A picnic pavilion and parking area offers the perfect place to catch a bite to eat after catching a bite on your fishing pole. Contact the Division of Forestry at 386-985-7822 for more details on this wonderful state forest.