Beach Use Permits – Horseback Riding

Special Notices

Riding Restrictions – Ordinance #2009-6 restricts riding from the northern boundary of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Research Reserve to the Duval County line from April 15th to September 15th, between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Federal Holidays. This ordinance does not affect other riding beaches (see map), dates, or times of the year.

Anastasia Island – Horseback Riding is prohibited during designated spring break for Equestrian Permit Holders beginning Friday, March 14, 2014, on Anastasia Island at Crescent Beach. Boundaries for riding are from Surf Drive in St. Augustine Beach south to the northern side of the Fort Matanzas Ramp. Parking is available at the Crescent Beach parking lot. (Spring break periods change from year to year.)

Planning Your Ride

North Beaches

Mickler’s Landing Access

  • November 1 – April 14
    Ride 7 days a week. No time restriction.
  • April 15 – April 30
    Monday-Friday: No time restriction.
    Saturday, Sundays & Federal Holidays: Ride before 9am & after 5pm (check tides).
  • May 1 – September 15
    Monday-Friday: 8am-7:30pm
    Saturday, Sundays & Federal Holidays: Ride between 8am-9am or 5pm-7:30pm (check tides).
  • September 16 – October 31
    Ride 7 days a week, 8am-7:30pm

Surfside Park Access

  • May 1 – October 31
    Ride 8am-7:30pm
  • November 1 – April 30
    Ride 7 days a week. No time restriction

South Beaches

Crescent Beach Access

  • November 1 to Designated Spring Break (Usually mid-March; changes annually).
  • Designated Spring Break to October 31
    South Beaches are CLOSED to horseback riding.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Cost. Permits are free of charge.
  • Clean Up. There are no regulations that require you to clean up horse waste. Please be considerate though, and treat our beaches and parking lots the same way you would your own barn.
  • Want to know where to ride? Get our Map of beach access points and riding beaches.
  • Tides. Please begin your ride 1-2 hours prior to a low tide event and conduct your horses below the most recent high tide line. Tide Predictions Page
  • For more information about horseback riding in St. Johns County, please visit the St. Johns County Horse Council website.

Horseback Riding on County Beaches

St. Johns County offers horseback riding on approximately 30 miles of our 41.1 miles of coastline. The County is responsible for implementing and abiding by a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Incidental Take Permit (ITP) through the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A special permit (follow steps below) is required to ride horses on St. Johns County beaches. Permits are free of charge.

Getting Your Permit
6 Steps to Your Beach Horseback Riding Permit
1. Watch Watch the Protected Species Training slideshow. Click for Training.
2. Quiz Complete No Fail Quiz at the end of Training.
Please Note: There may be issues with submitting the online interactive quiz results with Internet Explorer 9 and later. Please use this PDF version of the Beach Riding Quiz to submit your answers to the No Fail Quiz.
3. Choose Choose your permit level. See Permit Levels.
4. Complete Complete and sign application.
5. Submit Email jdupuis@sjcfl.us, Fax (904) 209-0620, drop off, or mail completed application, required credentials, and scores to:
Jade Dupuis
3171 Coastal Hwy
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Attn: Horseback Riding Permits
6. Receive Permit It may take up to two weeks to process your permit.
Need Technical Assistance?

Please Note: There may be issues with submitting the online interactive quiz results with Internet Explorer 9 and later. Please use this PDF version of the Beach Riding Quiz to submit your answers to the No Fail Quiz.

Adobe Flash Player is required to view and complete the training.

Acrobat Reader
is required to view and/or complete the application on your computer.

If you have technical difficulty with the training, please email webmast@sjcfl.us so that we may assist you.

Click for Online Protected Species Beach Riding Training
Please use Internet Explorer to watch the training and complete the quiz.

Horseback Riding Permit Levels

Master Beach Equestrian Guide

    1. An individual with extensive riding experience on St. Johns County beaches and intends to ride regularly and frequently.
    2. Must complete Protected Species Training. Must provide no less than three letters of written recommendations from Master Equestrian Beach Guides, or written recommendations by the St. Johns County Horse Council, proof of membership to local riding club (if any), and/or some other proof of extensive riding experience on St. Johns County beaches.

General Beach Equestrian Guide – Class I

  1. An individual intending to ride on St. Johns County beaches regularly and frequently but experience does not warrant a Master Beach Equestrian Guide Permit.
  2. Must complete Protected Species Training.
    Please use Internet Explorer to watch the training and complete the quiz.

General Beach Equestrian – Class II

  1. An individual desiring a one-time or infrequent horseback ride on the beach.
  2. May obtain necessary education and credentials from a Master Beach Equestrian Guide or through online training.
More Information

For more information or to arrange a workshop, please contact Jade Dupuis, (904) 209-0619.