Amelia Island is crowned on the north side and draped on the south by two stunning state parks - with a small jewel of a park in between. Savvy travelers know to seek out the history, natural beauty and array of activities that the parks offer.
FORT CLINCH STATE PARK. Set on 1,400 acres, this park is home to historic Fort Clinch, one of the most perfectly preserved Civil War forts in the United States.
• Explore the rooms, galleries and spectacular grounds while park staff interpret history and take you back to the year 1864 in the life of a Union soldier.
• Enjoy miles of bicycling on the historic oak-canopy drive, or for the more adventurous, hiking and biking the 6-mile off-road, multi-use trail.
• The Park offers a guided nature walk at the Willow Pond Nature Trail every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
• Enjoy a shaded playground with picnic tables set behind the parking lot adjacent to Fort Clinch.
• Shelling and shark-tooth hunting are popular activities near the pier and along the St. Mary’s Inlet. (Amelia Shark Tooth Adventures offers tours and workshops.)
• 69 campsites and a large group camping facility offer unparalleled overnight experiences.
• The park’s 3-mile shoreline and a 1/2–mile long fishing pier offer a wide variety of family-friendly recreational activities including swimming, fishing, sunbathing and wildlife viewing.
• Fort Clinch State Park is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Special events take place year-round. Visit the PARK EVENTS PAGE for more information.
AMELIA ISLAND STATE PARK. Set on the southernmost tip of Amelia Island, the views from this State Park are never anything short of striking.
• This park protects over 200 acres of unspoiled wilderness with beautiful beaches, salt marshes and coastal maritime forests.
• It's one of the few locations on the east coast that offers horseback riding on the beach and riding tours along the shoreline. (For horseback tour reservations, contact Kelly Seahorse Ranch at (904) 491-5166. Tours are given four times daily.)
• Fans of fishing can surf fish along the shoreline or wet their lines from the mile-long George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier which spans Nassau Sound.
• Take a look at FIRSTHAND FLORIDA FUN AT AMELIA ISLAND STATE PARK.
FERNANDINA PLAZA STATE PARK. Although small in size, this park contains centuries of Florida history.
• The site of the original Spanish Fort San Carlos, the park lies in the middle of Old Town Fernandina, which is the last town platted by the Spanish in the New World. It became quieter when railroad baron David Yulee convinced residents to move the center of town to Centre Street and the harborfront, now a lively area just to the south.
• It's a popular (semi-secret) spot for viewing the sunset and musicians often come out to "play the sun down here."
• The "Pippi Longstocking" House, a private home, borders the park - this historic Captain's home from the 1880s, it played the role of Villa Villekula in the 1980s movie "The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.