Visitors to the 14.5 mile Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail can explore what was once a part of the CSX railway line. Two separate and distinct paths include either a paved path for walking, jogging, in-line skating and/or biking or a parallel unpaved path for horseback riding. Additional unpaved trails spur off the main trail into adjacent public conservation land to enhance the experience. You can start at one end of the trail at the Imeson Road parking area and go about 7 miles to the Camp Milton Trailhead. Keep going to the end of the trail to the small town of Baldwin and stop for lunch at one of the area diners for some old fashioned home cooking.
Uniquely located on a peninsula formed at the confluence of Julington and Durbin Creeks, the Julington Durbin preserve provides visitors with many trails through natural communities ranging from sand hill to lower flat wood to lush floodplain swamp and marshes. Julington Durbin Preserve’s nine miles of shoreline offers visitors beautiful scenic views of both Julington and Durbin Creeks. Trails good for hiking, biking, or horseback riding with some trails totaling 6.1 miles round trip are located in the Preserve. You can explore the creeks surrounding the Preserve from the boat ramp at Hood Landing (12803 Hood Landing Road) or the kayak launch at the Palmetto Leaves Regional Park South Entrance off Old St. Augustine Road, across from the Bartram Trail Shopping Center. Or visit the kayak launch off Racetrack Road. This is a great place to kayak in a completely natural setting.
Right on the ocean, this 450-acre park has everything a family may be looking for. Plan a day to relax on the pristine beach or fish and canoe on the freshwater pond. A small splash park is available in the summer months. This park has many off-road bike paths through mature hardwood forests. Cabin and tent camping are available. Lifeguards and concessions are available at this park. After spending a day at this park, take the St. Johns River Ferry across the river to Ft. George Island State Park, Huguenot Park and the Talbot Island parks.
Located on historic Ft. George Island within the Timucuan Preserve, this site includes the oldest standing plantation house in Florida and the remains of original tabby slave cabins. The site also contains the original barn and kitchen house. A garden is planted with sample crops that would have been grown during the plantation era. The plantation is located along the beautiful Ft. George River where many Florida water birds can be observed. The park offers a dock. A ranger program is offered weekends at 2 pm.
Alimacani Park is located on Xalvis Island, adjacent to the Fort George River. Some of the first Europeans to arrive in northeast Florida landed on Xalvis Island in 1562. The park and nearby Fort George Island (formerly part of the Timucuan Indian settlement of Alimacani) comprise a portion of the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. The scenic stretch of A1A known as the Buccaneer Trail, named for pirates such as Blackbeard that pillaged the coast, borders the park on the east, and the City’s Alimacani Boat Ramp abuts the park on the west.
The boat ramp provides access to the Fort George River and its tributaries. Alimacani provides awesome opportunities for jet skiers, kayakers, canoers and small jon-boaters. The marsh area offers ample bird observation.
Little Talbot Island State Park is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Northeast Florida. This park offers more than five miles of magnificent beaches, majestic dunes and undisturbed salt marshes. This park is a true treasure of Northeast Florida. A more than two mile long paved bike path runs along Park Drive from the entrance to the southern tip of the island. Camping facilities and a boat ramp are available. Kayak outfitters are available near the park.
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park protects one of the largest contiguous areas of coastal uplands remaining in Duval County. Equestrians, hikers and off-road bicyclists can explore over 16 miles of trails. A canoe/kayak launch is available to reach the marshes.
Big Talbot Island State Park’s famous bone yard beach is covered with the skeletons of live oak and cedar trees that once grew near the ocean. This park is a photographer’s dream. A paved bike path runs alongside the park. Visitors can picnic at the Bluff’s access overlooking the water and take a hike down the Shoreline Trail. A boat ramp is available for boats and kayaks.
Reddie Point Preserve is located at the bend of the St. Johns River and provides spectacular views of the St. Johns River and downtown Jacksonville. This park offers a large fishing pier and docking station for boats.
Designated a Civil War campground, Camp Milton offers a state of the art educational center displaying Civil War artifacts, McGirts Creek Bridge a replica of a “Campaign Bridge”, wooden boardwalk leading to Civil War earthworks, and an authentic 1800s Florida farmstead that provide visitors with a glimpse into history. Historic era reenactments occur in February. Camp Milton is located about halfway along the Rail Trail.
The City of Jacksonville's Preservation Park system has added another crown jewel -- Seaton Creek Historic Preserve, a beautiful 800+ acre preserve located near Thomas Creek (northern Duval County). While the Preserve will be a "working" forest and actively managed for timber, trail blazing has begun to open the Preserve to hikers, off-road bikers and equestrian enthusiasts. Wildlife viewing is spectacular with the pristine marshes and meandering creeks throughout the Preserve- a Mecca for nature photographers and artists!
Castaway Island Preserve is located along the Intracoastal Waterway and is adjacent to an intricate salt marsh ecosystem that is ideal for spotting marshland wildlife. Visitors may stroll along the Preserve’s wooden boardwalk, take in a view from an observation platform overlooking the waterway, walk along the kid friendly interpretive nature trail, use the kayak launch to explore the marsh, and explore the theater style education center during scheduled programs.
This park managed by the National Park Service contains trails to the west of Cedar Point Road and a small craft boat ramp and canoe launch to the east of Cedar Point Road. The boat ramp allows access to the many salt marshes in the Timucuan Preserve. The views along the marsh will amaze you.
Thomas Creek Preserve is a Black Creek system that flows into the Nassau River Tributary. Influenced by the tide, the creek’s relaxing atmosphere and captivating natural scenery is a setting to let everything go and unwind in natural beauty. A boat ramp, kayak launch, and fishing pier are located onsite. No boats over 17 feet.
Dutton Island Preserves are really two Timucuan Trail parks - Dutton Island I (Dutton Island Preserve) and Dutton Island II (Dutton Island Park and Preserve expansion). The preserves are located in a pristine salt marsh ecosystem that offers visitors exceptional wildlife viewing. Tranquility awaits visitors along the 3 miles of hiking trails through pine flat woods and live oak hammocks. Dutton Island I includes a marsh observation viewing deck and fishing pier on the north end and a kayak and canoe launch site on the south end. There is a marked kayak trail among the salt marsh to guide you. There are also hiking trails and boardwalks, a covered picnic area, and restrooms. Primitive camping is available at Dutton Island I (call 904-247-5828 for reservations). Dutton Island II includes hiking trails, several marsh overlooks, two picnic areas, and a kayak landing.
Both Dutton Island I and II are located on Dutton Island Drive, west of Mayport Road in Atlantic Beach. Dutton Island II is located on the right approximately 0.6 miles west of Mayport Road at 793 Dutton Island Drive West. Continue west on Dutton Island Drive about 0.2 miles and enter the gates to Dutton Island I. Follow the narrow causeway to Dutton Island I.
Home of the Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center, this park memorializes the site of a 16th-century French colony – the first European settlement in the area. Check out the Visitor Center with exhibits about the area’s natural history, European exploration, and the Timucuan Native Americans. Take a hike on the many trails through mature hardwood forests. Trails lead to a Timucuan hut and shell mound exhibit and a memorial fort exhibit and former French colony along the St. Johns River. You can even tie your boat to the onsite dock. After a few hours here you can travel across the street to the Theodore Roosevelt Area.
Fort George Island Cultural State Park / Ribault Club – Check out the exhibits at the restored 1928 Ribault Club where events and weddings are still being held today. Bring your kayaks or small boats and explore the safe waters and sand bars of the Ft. George River marsh areas. Then have a picnic under the open grassed area under large oak trees. Many trails begin at this area and meander through Ft. George Island with some trails ending with views of the Ft. George River. Hiking too strenuous? - Segway tours of the island are available.
George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier is a favorite for local fishermen. This one-mile, pedestrian-only fishing bridge spans Nassau Sound and provides access to one of the best fishing areas in Northeast Florida. Anglers catch a variety of fish, including whiting, jack, drum and tarpon. Access to the bridge is through Amelia Island State Park. Amelia Island State Park is one of the few locations on the east coast that offers horseback riding on the beach and riding tours along the shoreline.
This park is practically surrounded by water. This beautiful beach area offers camping, surfing, fishing, kayaking, and nature trails. Huguenot Park is considered by the Duval Audubon Society to be the premier birding site in Duval County. You can drive and park directly on the beach. Lifeguards and concessions are available at this park.