Three points of access make the Outpost ideal for public enjoyment of north Guana and the lake.
We acknowledge that the Outpost is private property and it's the owner's right to continue its current use and not make it accessible to the general public. However, should Ponte Vedra Corporation decide to make it available for permanent preservation - which they at one time communicated to us was their first priority - then there are a number of ways this property could serve the public, if they so choose. This page should not be interpreted as a "land grab" on our part - as they've accused us of. It's simply suggestions of ways the land could benefit the public if the owner makes it available for purchase by an entity that serves the public good.
The beautiful 12,000-acre Guana preserve currently has very limited public access* to the west side of Lake Ponte Vedra and no public access to the northern end of the preserve. The Outpost could remedy this, connecting hikers to 10 miles of trails south of the property while connecting kayakers and nature lovers to the lake.
The Outpost property has a mile-long dirt road along the lake that would allow the public to explore one of the most scenic areas of Guana. Not only could kayakers and canoers launch at the Outpost,
but boaters launching at the Six
Mile Landing on A1A would then
have a land destination at the
Outpost, expanding their enjoyment of Guana's diverse and extraordinary habitats. Imagine an outing that begins on the water at Six-Mile-Landing and continues to the Outpost where trails on the opposite side can be explored.
The Outpost has a gated entrance at the southern end of Neck Road
that is well suited for a secure,
northern entry to the preserve, where visitors can arrive by car, bicycle or on foot.
The East Coast Greenway, which connects Maine to Key West
utilizing paths, sidewalks and trails, intersects with Neck Road -- a 1-mile hike (highlighted above in red) branching off of the Greenway which could bring hikers and bikers to the heart of Guana. A fourth point of entry is also possible if a half-mile extension is added onto an existing hiking trail that would directly connect the Outpost to the proposed Ponte Vedra Greenway trail. Either route would bring hikers to Lake Ponte Vedra and the great beauty that surrounds it.
Another feature of the Outpost that significantly enhances its value for public use is a quaint lodge (below) that could be used as an education center for visitors and/or a research facility for scholars and students. It could accommodate overnight stays for those involved in 24-hour research of animals in their habitats. (Dorms are very limited at the nearby NERR where students of environmental science conducting such research sometimes sling hammocks onto an outbuilding to sleep.)
Several universities have expressed keen interest in having access to the Outpostproperty.
The abutting NERR is visited by scientists worldwide. By opening up the Outpost property to research, our knowledge of diverse species and habitats would be expanded while the land and animals are preserved. The Outpost's existing building would allow researchers to meet and collaborate, while it could also serve as a field station - equipped
Sadly, financial pressures on universities are likely to preclude their outright purchase of the Outpost property. If the land can be saved via donation(s), government funding, or a combination, the resulting contributions to science and education will follow.
Participating institutions of higher learning would be called upon to help maintain and preserve the land.
The only structure on the 106-acre Outpost property could serve as an education center or a research facility for visiting scientists and students of environmental science.
*Public access (via car) to the west side of Lake Ponte Vedra is currently available to the public only 56 days per year, at the observation tower. This is during hunting season only.
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