About 75% of the forest is upland and made up of pine plantations.
The remaining 25% of the forest is wetlands including bay and cypress swamps.
Slash and longleaf pines dominate the upland forest.
Matanzas State Forest was created from the Matanzas Marsh Northeast Florida Blueway Florida Forever Project. The forest protects the last remaining undisturbed salt marsh within the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Currently comprising 4,699 acres, the initial acquisition was completed in 2003 from Rayonier (a timber company). Since then, additional parcels have been acquired, including a 20-acre linkage to Moses Creek Conservation Area.
Using sound ecosystem science, the Division of Forestry manages for multiple uses of forest resources which include timber management, wildlife management, natural resource-based recreation, and ecological restoration