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McCarty Ranch Preserve

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Primitive Tent & RV Camp Sites Now Open

  • Located: 12525 Range Line Rd, Port St. Lucie, FL. 34987
  • Phone: 772-878-2277
  • Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset, daily; except for camping.
  • Amenities: Boat & Canoe Launch, Camping, Disc Golf, Fishing Permitted, Nature Trails, Open-Space, Restrooms (ADA)

Visitors already know that Port St. Lucie's McCarty Ranch Preserve for its excellent hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing opportunities and now visitors can camp under the stars in this primitive and rustic setting.

There are 13 primitive campsites and 6 RV trailer sites available to the public. Camping reservations can be made online or in-person at a first-come, first-served basis at the Parks & Recreation offices at the Community Center.

The cost of primitive tent site $20 per night, plus tax; RV site is $23 per night, plus tax. Visitors can stay for up to 14 nights in the tent sites and up to 30 days at the RV sites. Pets are allowed, but they must be kept on a leash while on the property. Every campsite has a fire ring with foldable grill, a lantern hook and picnic table. Bathroom facilities with showers are available on site. There is no parking, water connections or electricity at the sites.

Camping at McCarty Ranch Preserve PSL Living Segment: McCarty Ranch

Family on bicyclesLocation and Directions

  • McCarty Ranch Preserve is located at 12525 Range Line Rd., west of I-95, south of the intersection of Glades Cut Off Rd. and Range Line Rd.
  • From the north, take Midway Rd. to Glades Cut Off Rd. Turn south onto Range Line Rd. and proceed four miles to the entrance on your right.
  • From the south, go west on Martin Hwy. (FL-714) and turn north onto SW Allapattah Rd. Drive north for approximately seven miles (Allapattah Rd. will become SW Twigg Ave. and then Dairy Rd./Range Line Rd.) The entrance is on your left.


The McCarty Ranch is 3,107 acres of largely old Florida pinelands. The City purchased the property in 2012 and incorporated it into the City limits in 2013, with plans to use it as a water storage and treatment facility to help meet the City's water demands for decades to come. Additionally, the property will serve as an environmentally-friendly passive recreational area for all to enjoy.

It is now known as “Port St. Lucie's McCarty Ranch Preserve,” and City leaders have a strategic plan to build on the legacy of its namesake and to create a better community that connects the past, present and future.

Site History

The City’s McCarty Ranch Preserve was named to recognize and honor the locally and statewide influential McCarty family. Charles Tobin McCarty, known as C.T., began growing pineapples in St. Lucie County during the 1880's, and the McCarty family eventually expanded their St. Lucie County land holdings to accommodate their growing citrus farming and cattle ranching ventures. The family ran cattle on the ranch for many years, selling the last piece of it in 2004. The family’s influence extended throughout Florida, with C.T.’s grandson, Dan, becoming the state’s 31st governor in 1953. C.T.’s other grandson, John, managed the family ranch for many years and was keenly aware of its value to future generations as an environmental resource and potential water supply.

Water Storage and Treatment

The McCarty Ranch Preserve's primary use is intended for water storage and treatment. In order to meet the drinking water needs of the projected growth in population in this city and its extended utility service area, Port St. Lucie Utility Systems Department plans to pump water out of the nearby C-23 Canal, and then store it in on-site reservoirs/lakes and/or in deep aquifer storage and recovery wells (ASRs) during annual wet seasons. The stored water will then be recovered, treated to drinking water standards, and distributed for consumption during dry seasons.

The water treatment plant, storage facilities, and recovery system will encompass approximately 25 acres of the property. The pipework from the treatment plant connecting the ASR wells will be underground. The existing lakes on the property will be converted to use as drinking water reservoirs.

The implementation of this water storage and treatment facility will ensure that Port St. Lucie is able to meet its water needs for generations to come.

Recreation Opportunities

The property will serve as an environmentally-friendly passive recreational area for all to enjoy.

Residents and visitors can enjoy activities on both land and water. Trails have been cleared for walking, biking and horseback riding. A lake system covering more than 300 acres provides opportunities for fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Disc golf is also available.

Note: One sealed electric motor per boat may be used after first obtaining a Boat Permit.

Make Port St. Lucie's McCarty Ranch Preserve your outdoor recreation destination. It's the best place you've never been!


Preserve Guidelines

  • Fishing is allowed. A Florida freshwater fishing license may be required for those 16 years of age or older. Wading is not permitted.
  • Kayaks and canoes are allowed in designated areas only.
  • Please note that personal flotation devices are required for each person occupying a canoe or kayak. A lifeguard is NOT on duty.
  • Beware of alligators, snakes, bobcats, panthers, feral hogs, and other natural wildlife.
  • Beware of natural, uneven terrain. Drive, park, walk, bicycle, and horseback ride at your own risk.
  • Per Florida statute, helmets are required for equestrians and cyclists under the age of 16. For safety reasons, we recommend riders of all ages wear appropriate safety gear.
  • Public access to certain areas of the Preserve is limited.
  • Domestic pets must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet, and dogs must have a current rabies vaccination. Legitimate service animals are permitted.

The following activities are prohibited:

  • Collection, destruction, or disturbance of plants, animals, rocks, minerals or other natural resources on Preserve property
  • Fires, including bonfires, barbecues, etc. without a camping reservation
  • Littering/dumping
  • Fireworks
  • ATVs, dirt bikes, or other off-road/recreational vehicles
  • Alcoholic beverages without camping reservation
  • Swimming
  • Gas-powered motorized watercraft and remote-controlled boats and planes
  • Charcoal and/or wood fireplaces
  • Hunting and archery

It is the responsibility of all visitors to McCarty Ranch Preserve to comply with local, state, and federal rules, regulations and laws.

ADA policy/Impact

The City of Port St. Lucie will provide persons with disabilities the highest feasible level of physical access to wilderness areas that are reasonable and consistent with the preservation of the property’s significant natural features. Undeveloped areas, such as those outside the immediate influence of buildings and roads, will not normally be modified.

McCarty Ranch Preserve

Updated on 03/06/2019 12:17 PM