No, we’re not talking about taking a trip to the Dakotas. The Theodore Roosevelt Area is located right here in the East Arlington neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida. It is a 600 acre treasure of hardwood forest, wetlands, and scrub vegetation.
The land was once owned by Willie Browne, who lived his entire life in a small cabin on the property. Though real estate developers offered him millions of dollars, Willie refused to sell. Instead, in 1969, Willie donated all his land to the Nature Conservancy and requested that the property be named for his hero, former President Theodore Roosevelt. Thank you, Willie, for your gift to future generations!
“I want this place saved,” Willie said. “So you can come see God.”
Visitors today can experience miles of wooded trails, vast grassland, and panoramic marsh views. Ancient piles of discarded oyster shells give clues to an extinct Timucuan culture. Pillars from the Browne cabin and the Browne family cemetery are on the property.
Helpful hints: The entrance is at 13165 Mt Pleasant Road, just across from the Fort Caroline National Monument. Parking, facilities, and trail maps are at the entrance. Bring insect repellent!
For more information, visit the National Park Timucuan Preserve website.