Jacksonville’s Wilderness Parks and Preserves: The Easternmost Park

Get ready for National Take a Hike Day on November 17! As we gear up for the day, we are taking you around the TPF park map. We recently took you to the northernmost and southernmost parks in our area. Today we continue our exploration and head to the easternmost park: Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. Hanna Park is a 450-acre park with 1.5 miles of sandy beaches.

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Hiking at Hanna Park

At Hanna Park, you can do just about anything. You can hike, bike, fish, boat, kayak, canoe, camp and more. It is located at 500 Wonderwood Dr. between Atlantic Beach and Mayport Village. The fee to enter is $5 per car (up to six people) or $3 per pedestrian or bicyclist. Inside the park, you will find the Atlantic shoreline, an extensive ancient dune system and a mature coastal hammock with majestic live oaks. You could catch a glimpse of wildlife including shorebirds, wading birds, alligators, foxes and more.

Hike or bike: Hanna Park offers more than 20 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails. You can take a beach hike, a forest hike, or walk the shores of a 60-acre freshwater lake. The Wellness Trail is a 6-mile trail for hikers that takes you throughout the park. You can also try out the Z Trail, one of the hardest trails with tight turns, short hills and exposed roots. It is a 3.9-mile trail that is shared by both bikers and hikers. It runs inside the South Loop which is a 4.3-mile trail that is smooth and flat and takes you through a variety of scenery. The direction of travel on the trails changes daily so be sure to follow the signs. You could also check out the E-Line Loop located in the northern end. It is a 3.8-mile trail that includes a staircase and some log crossings along the route.

Shorter hike: For a shorter hike, take the Scout Trail which is a .25 mile hike at the northern end of Hanna Park. You can also do portions of any of the trails to make the hike your own.

Photo of the Oct. 2 historic marker unveiling courtesy of the Beaches Museum

Did you know? Hanna Park used to be called Manhattan Beach. During the segregation era, it was Jacksonville’s first all-black beach. It was founded by Henry Flagler, president of the Florida East Coast Railway. It opened around 1900 to give Flagler’s black employees a place they could enjoy during their leisure time. When you are visiting Hanna Park, stop by Beach Access 8 to read the historical marker that tells the history of Manhattan Beach.