Northern Florida is known for its beautiful beaches and great natural wildlife viewing opportunities, and Fort Clint State Park is no exception. Just an hour north of Jacksonville, two hours south of Savannah, and half an hour east of Yulee, this park is steeped in history and natural wonders.
In 1935, Fort Clinch became one of Florida’s first state parks. The following year, as part of the New Deal, the CCC refurbished the park and began restoring the buildings in the area. This park housed a very crucial battle during the Civil War and played a big role in America’s history. There's a museum on-site which has all the details and information commemorating the battle and signifying the park’s importance in the war.
In addition to its historical significance, this 1,400-acre park is a great place to fish, go swimming, view a variety of wildlife, and maybe even squeeze in a little relaxation time. Rent an RV in Nassau County today and start your vacation off right.
Want to go on a hunt for sharks' teeth? Cumberland Sound, which connects Fort Clinch State Park to Cumberland Island National Seashore, is home to tons of different types of sharks. Sharks will have up to 50,000 teeth in a lifetime and they shed them all over the ocean floor, where the waves bring them ashore for you to collect. Bring your sense of adventure and scour the beach in search for a few of these fun mementos from your time at the park.
This historic sites also offers free access to the Fort Clinch Museum with paid admission to the park. Start with a short video which gives a synopsis of the importance of the fort and the battles which took place there. Then move into the exhibit rooms, where you’ll learn more about the Fort Clinch’s purpose in the Civil War. If you arrive during the first few weeks of the year, you will get a chance to see actors re-enact and commemorate the battles of the fort.
Grab your swimwear from the RV rental and head on up to the beach! Nearly a mile of Atlantic shore is accessible to motorhome campers at Fort Clinch State Park. Always be cautious when swimming in the ocean and heed any warnings about water hazards and weather conditions. Soak up the sun, collect seashells, or build sandcastles on the beach. Bring your binoculars and see if you can spot a whale out in the ocean from the shore!
Camping at Fort Clinch State Park
RV camping at Fort Clinch State Park is a breeze. Between the two state park campgrounds, 63 RV sites can accommodate motorhome campers up to 48 feet long. Most sites are back-in only and come with water hookups and 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups. There are no full hookups in the park. Most sites are pet-friendly as long as your pup is well-behaved and on a leash.
Fort Clinch State Park campers can also use the laundry facilities during certain hours. Additional amenities include public restrooms, hot showers, water spigots, and dump stations. If you plan to have a fire, firewood is available to buy as well. The park doesn't supply Wi-Fi, but cell phone reception is good for most major carriers. If you know ahead of time that you'll be camping at Fort Clinch State Park, you can book your spot up to 11 months in advance. A visitors' center is located in the park and is a great place to learn more information about the area you’re staying in. The park has some campsites, walkways, and trails which accommodate guests with disabilities, but make sure to check the website for specifics.
Exploring the Area
Remember on the old spy shows when characters would get to cruise down the bayou in a catamaran? Well that can be you! Head to Amelia Island and book yourself a backwater boat tour. Your tour guide will teach you how to operate your custom-built adventure boat, then it’s your turn to traverse the water behind your guide. Go fast or slow, whatever pace you feel comfortable with, but make sure to look for wildlife. You might just see some dolphins, turtles, wild horses, or exotic sea birds.
Do you have that wild spirit for spirits? Head over to Fernandina Beach. This is where the magic happens. See the behind-the-scenes action where all the rum, whiskey, and vodka are made at the city's own distillery. Sample some of your favorites or buy a whole bottle. You'll find the distillery, as well as a brewpub and beer garden, right off the coast of the Amelia River and only an eight-minute drive (or 40-minute walk) from the Fort Clinch State Park.
Thinking of going on a guided nature walk? Egan’s Creek Greenway is just a short drive down the road. There are over 300 acres of grassland along Egan’s Creek which you can explore by foot or by bicycle. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the greenway. Enjoy scoping out the wildlife on a guided tour or go out on your own. Use caution when sightseeing; alligators and bobcats call this place home, so make sure to observe these fascinating creatures from afar. You might also get to see bald eagles, osprey, or blue herons.
When you feel your RV camping trip to Fort Clinch State Park is finished, you'll find several gas stations within a 20-minute radius where you can fill your tank. Then I-95 is right down the road where you can head up the coast or south towards Jacksonville.