What to do in Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch was named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, an important figure in Florida's Seminole War of the 1830s. Construction of the fort started in 1847 by the federal government and continued during the Civil War. Occupied by Confederate forces when the war began in 1861, it was taken by federal troops when General Robert E. Lee ordered a withdrawal the following year.

Steeped in history, a good place to begin your park visit is at the visitor center that provides a thorough introduction through a number of exhibits and provides access to the fort and its variety of buildings including the officers' quarters, guardhouse, blacksmith shop and several kitchens.
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

  • Fort Clinch State Park Travel Q&A

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