Fort Clinch State Park

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Fort Clinch State Park
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Fort Clinch State Park
Map showing the location of Fort Clinch State Park
LocationNassau County, Florida, United States
Nearest cityFernandina Beach, Florida
Coordinates30°42′16.88″N 81°27′16.06″W / 30.7046889°N 81.4544611°W / 30.7046889; -81.4544611Coordinates: 30°42′16.88″N 81°27′16.06″W / 30.7046889°N 81.4544611°W / 30.7046889; -81.4544611
Area1,100 acres (4 km2)
EstablishedApril 21, 1905
Visitors167,000 (in ???)
Governing bodyFlorida Department of Environmental Protection

The Fort Clinch State Park is a Florida State Park, located on a peninsula near the northernmost point of Amelia Island, along the Amelia River. Its 1,100 acres (4 km2) include the 19th-century Fort Clinch, sand dunes, plains, maritime hammock and estuarine tidal marsh. The park and fort lie to the northeast of Fernandina Beach at the entrance to the Cumberland Sound.

Fort Clinch[edit]

Fort Clinch is a 19th-century brick fortress begun in 1847 after the end of the Second Seminole War. It was named in honor of General Duncan Lamont Clinch, important figure in the First and Second Seminole Wars. The only battle to occur at Clinch was when Union troops recaptured the fort in 1862 after Confederate forces seized control the previous year. Fort Clinch served as the base of Union operations in the area throughout the Civil War.

In 1935, the State of Florida bought 256 acres (1.0 km2) that included the then-abandoned fort and the surrounding area. Fort Clinch State Park including the fort, opened to the public in 1938.

Recreational activities[edit]

In addition to exploring Fort Clinch, activities include pier fishing, sunbathing, hiking, surfcasting, camping, birding, and shelling. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking, swimming, bicycling, beachcombing, and wildlife viewing. Park personnel reenact military life at the fort. Among the wildlife of the park are the rare purple sandpiper, alligators, white-tailed deer, and other birds. Visitors can also see dolphins and manatees.

Fernandina Beach FL Fort Clinch fort18.jpg

Amenities include a visitor information center, 1/2 mile pier with cold showers as well as restroom/changing rooms, several miles of beach, 3.3 miles (5.3 km) of paved road, and a six-mile (10 km) hiking trail. The park has two campgrounds, one on the Amelia River, the other on the Atlantic Beach. The Amelia River campground has two hot-water restroom/shower facilities for 41 campsites in an oak hammock. The Atlantic Beach campground has one hot-water restroom/shower facility for 21 sites with a ramped boardwalk. The park also offers primitive camping and youth camping.

10-inch Rodman guns May 2003

The park is a gateway site for the Great Florida Birding Trail.

Military re-enactments[edit]

On the first weekend of each month, costumed interpreters perform living history re-enactments of a Civil War soldiers life in 1864 at Fort Clinch. Activities include military drills, and working in the fort's laundry, infirmary, kitchen, barracks, quartermaster, United States Sanitary Commission and carpenter shop.

The fort holds other encampments during the year.


The park is open from 8:00 am until sundown year round.


External links[edit]