The park holds candlelight tours each weekend evening during the summer months along with regularly scheduled re-enactments throughout the year. The fort is Florida's northernmost facility and once served as the guard post for St. Mary's River. Today, visitors enjoy touring the site, spending the night at one of several waterfront campgrounds, saltwater swimming, fishing and much more. Fort Clinch State Park, one of the oldest parks in the Florida park system, was acquired in September 1935. The Florida Park Service offers living history interpretation of historic Fort Clinch and Living History re-enactors talk about life as a soldier when stationed at Fort Clinch. Significant plant communities throughout the park's 1,100 acres include sand dunes, overwash plains, maritime hammock and estuarine tidal marsh. Many of these can be observed from the nature trail at Willow Pond or the paved roadway through the hammocks. These are also prime locations for bird-watching and nature study. Fort Clinch State Park offers camping along the river and the beach campground. The river campground is partially paved with moderately accessible bathhouses. A nearby handicapped fishing pier offers a small observation area where visitors can observe dolphins, manatees, submarines or enjoy freshwater fishing. The beach campground offers a handicapped boardwalk down to the beach. Biking is allowed on approximately six miles of park drives. Recreation
Recreational activities include camping, primitive camping, Atlantic swimming, surf and pier fishing, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and candlelight tours of the fort. Location
Fort Clinch State Park is located in Fernandina Beach, off A1A. Climate
Summers in northeastern Florida are hot and humid with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Summer temperatures average in the low 80's Fahrenheit (27 - 28 Celsius). Mild winter temperatures average below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). Freezing temperatures are infrequent but windy conditions are common. The average precipitation for the northeast area is between 52 and 56 inches per year. Light, loose fitting clothing is recommended in spring, summer and fall. Layered clothing is recommended for winter. Biting insects are common throughout the year and are especially heavy from late April through early June. Address
2601 Atlantic Avenue
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 Phone: 904-277-7274
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- Parts of the park's nature trail are paved for bikers and strollers. Florida law states that children under 16 must wear bicycle helmets.
- Fort Clinch holds historical reenactments during the first weekend of every month, a must-do activity. Call for details and dates.
The fort isn't the park's only drawit's a hot spot for swimming, beachcombing, and fishing, and six miles of forested nature trails offer ample opportunities for hiking and biking while learning more about the island's ecosystem and viewing birds, alligators, and other plant and animal life.(-) Close
Parks and Outdoors Review of Fort Clinch State Park
- Robert E. Lee recognized the strategic importance of the Fort's location and tried desperately at the start of the War Between the States to complete Fort Clinch before Federal forces arrived. Lee's efforts were in vain; Union soldiers seized the hastily-abandoned fort without firing a shot in early 1862, and Fort Clinch remained in Federal hands thereafter.
- Like Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Fort Clinch's chief draw is that it lacks the battle scars of such important, and heavily-bombarded forts as Charleston's Fort Sumter. Consequently, the fort you'll see looks much as it did to the soldiers themselves.
- Fort Clinch also offers camping and some fine beaches. Sure, it may feel a bit irreverent touring a Civil War fort in flip-flops, but you won't be the first or last to do it.
2601 Atlantic Ave
Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.
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