If you are interested in immersing yourself in the beauty and history of the Jacksonville beaches, then taking a trip to Fort Clinch State Park should be on the top of your list. This expansive piece of protected land offers visitors not only a glimpse into the Civil War past of the area but also a fabulous introduction to the natural beauty this part of the coast was once known for.
The park sits at the northmost end of Amelia Island and is home to over 1,400 acres of lush maritime forest with oaks draped in Spanish moss and an intact Civil War-era fort that is perfect for touring.
The beaches at the park are everything you might expect from an Atlantic coastline. White soft sand, warm blue water, and plenty of shells to be found by the shoreline.
One thing to keep in mind about this beach is that it is very much wild. Not only will you not find lifeguards stationed here, but you will also need to be on the lookout for the wild animals that call this area home.
But as long as you don’t disturb this natural oasis, you can expect to have a fantastic beach experience with loads of fun and recreational activities.
Swimming, sunbathing, surfing, fishing, hiking, biking, and birding are popular at Fort Clinch.
The fishing in the area is known to be top-notch. Surf fishermen can expect to find all kinds of fish species like redfish, black drum, whiting, and sheepshead trolling the waters.
For those hoping to bike around the park, there are over 3 miles of paved roads to travel. They are often shaded by the iconic oak trees that make for a magical canopy dripping with green Spanish moss.
Birding is also popular, and the park is on the famous Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Because of the abundance of different ecosystems, there are around 100 species of unique birds you can catch a glimpse of here.
Restrooms, a shower facility, a visitor center, areas to camp, a museum, interpretive exhibits, playground, and of course parking.
Because the beach is located in a state park, you can expect to find a whole wide range of amenities.
This is also a very popular place to camp. The park offers two unique camping experience. One is more modern and gives access to the parks’ amenities, and the other is a primitive experience for those looking to commune deeper with the natural surroundings.
The Fort itself is very much intact. Not only can you take daily tours, but there are also reenactors that engage with guests to educate and entertain.
The first weekend of every month, the cannons located at the fort are loaded and fired. This demonstration shows guests how the fort operated during the years it was in use.
Address: 2601 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034