Green Swamp East
Backpacking in GSE Nature Preserve
As a plateau above surrounding areas, the Green Swamp region is an important physiographic feature of Florida. Its 560,000 acres of wetlands, flatlands, and low ridges are bounded by prominent sandy ridgelines. Rainwater drains across the surface to create the headwaters of four major rivers: the Withlacoochee, the Ocklawaha, the Hillsborough, and the Peace. Rainwater also trickles down through the soil to replenish the Floridan aquifer system, the primary source of drinking water for most Floridians. Because the Green Swamp region is elevated above outlying areas and the underground aquifer rises very close to the land surface, the region functions as the pressure head for the aquifer. Protecting the Green Swamp is vital to protecting the quality and quantity of Florida’s water supply. Recognizing the statewide significance of this area, the state of Florida in 1974 designated 322,000 acres of the Green Swamp region as an Area of Critical State Concern.