Fort Clinch – Oct 2021

If you are looking for a campground that is both chill and warm, this might be your ticket.

We recently camped for a few days at Forth Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach (FL), on Amelia Island, and it is a hidden gem.  This state park is like Fort DeSoto Regional Park (if you have ever stayed there, you know how nice it is), only instead of being cocooned in palm fronds you are cocooned in Live Oaks.  Specifically, it is the Amelia River Campground that is particularly nice.

While we had very limited time to really explore the park, it is located at the northern tip of Amelia Island (you look across the inlet into Georgia) on a spit of land surrounded by water.

There are mixed use trails (hiking and mountain biking) laced throughout the park, and biking right on the road is superb.  We did not have time to explore these trails, but from what we could see they looked very engaging – mostly it appeared, in the shade of live oaks.  If you are a birder, I am sure this is a target rich environment.

And there is history here as the fort was built starting in 1847.  Although it was never completed, it was built to protect northern Florida after it became part of the US.  Today, senior citizens afford Florida that same protection.  Kidding.

If you are a paddler, as I am, you can put in right from the campground.  However, I personally would not recommend this.  The current (from the tide) is very strong, even if you are not in the main channel.  You had best be a very strong and capable paddler to paddle here and looking more for a cardio workout than a scenic, calm, and relaxing paddle.  Having said that, I am certain there are many places to put in nearby (as in short drive) that would be a delight, but we did not have the time to explore.  It’s not too shabby to just walk on the beach!

I half expected Forrest Gump to jump off the boat and swim in.  Lieutenant Dan!!

If you don’t feel like cooking or want to peruse shops nearby, there are a ton of restaurants and shops just a short bike ride or drive to the village of Fernandina Beach.

This is one of those places people know about, so don’t be surprised to find it booked up.  Advance planning and/or good fortune will be your friend.

Safe travels!

Leave a Reply