A hidden gem nestled within a bustling seaside community, Egans Creek Greenway is a place for quiet reflection and peaceful recreational use.
Its grass-covered roads serve as a network of trails that are suitable for walking and bicycling.
Its variety of natural wildlife and vegetation allows for excellent photo opportunities.
Managed by the City of Fernandina Beach, the property was purchased in cooperation with Florida Communities Trust and opened to the public in 2000.
Scientists teamed up with a landscape architecture firm to create the Park and Ecological Master Plans for the Greenway.
These included restoration opportunities, scenic viewing areas, unique points of interest, and hiking trails.
With a total of 3.5 miles of trails that connect with each other throughout the Greenway, visitors can hike and bike in-and-out or do loops of up to 6 miles.
A nature pavilion, picnic area, and restrooms are located at the Atlantic Avenue entrance, a good place to begin your hike.
Benches, a boardwalk, educational kiosks, and several areas designated for wildlife viewing are located throughout the property.
Depending upon the time of year, visitors are certain to come across alligators, marsh rabbits, turtles, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, deer, and a myriad of local and migratory birds.
Opportunities abound for photography, birding, plein-air painting, and tranquil contemplation.
With the exception of two short mountain bike trails (blazed purple), the greenway’s trails are wide enough to accommodate both hikers and cyclists safely.
Resources for exploring the area
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Location: Fernandina Beach
Length: 5 miles
Trailhead: 30.666870, -81.436848
Address: Atlantic Recreation Center, 2500 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Restroom: At Atlantic Recreation Center trailhead
Land Manager: City of Fernandina Beach
Open sunrise to sunset. Leashed dogs welcome. Foot and bicycle traffic is allowed on Egans Creek Greenway.
Bring bug spray, sunscreen, a sunhat, and extra water. Enjoy the wildlife, such as alligators, from a distance.
If you would like to visit the Greenway and require assistance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), contact the Atlantic Recreation Center by phone between 8 AM and 6 PM.
From Jacksonville follow Interstate 95 north about 20 miles into Nassau County. Take exit 373 and head east on SR 200 (SR A1A/Buccaneer Trail). Drive 10 miles–through the town of Yulee and over the Thomas Shave, Jr. Bridge and Kingsley Creek–to enter Amelia Island and the town of Fernandina Beach.
Continue on SR-200/A1A about 2 miles as it curves north and merges onto South 8th St. Continue north on South 8th St for 3 miles to Atlantic Ave and turn right. Head east on Atlantic Ave for 1.4 miles. The entrance to the Atlantic Recreation Center will be on your right.Take the driveway past the front parking area and the recreation center to the rear parking lot.
This is a 5 mile in-and-out/loop hike using the Green, Blue and Red trails. It begins at the parking lot behind the Atlantic Recreation Center.
Access the trail behind the handicapped parking spots near the playground, restrooms and picnic area.
At the trailhead you’ll see a short trail on the right (the Brown Trail) that leads to a stunning overlook of Egans Creek.
Either take a brief round-trip stroll to the overlook first before starting your loop hike, or visit it when you return to the parking lot.
Otherwise, the hike begins by taking a left onto the Green Trail, a shady path lined with palmettos.
At 100 feet, you’ll come across an informational kiosk and trash bin. Bear right and come out into a sunny, grassy area with a canal on the right.
At 0.2 miles you’ll see an educational sign about oyster beds. Take a moment to study the ecological importance of these local mollusks.
This is also a good spot to view numerous species of wading birds like the great blue heron and the great egret.
The path widens as you reach two benches on your right, with a small pond on the left.
Most certainly you will see several alligators sunning on the banks. Keep your distance, but enjoy the beauty of these prehistoric reptiles.
At 0.7 miles is a triangular intersection with a bench along with an educational sign about coyotes’ significance on the Greenway.
Commonly called a “keystone” species, coyotes have significant impact on the surrounding biological community.
Bear left here, and continue walking along the Green Trail until you reach Jasmine Street at 0.8 miles.
At this intersection are signs about local butterflies and snakes. A bench is provided along with a trash bin and bike rack.
To the right is a spillway, and a large live oak tree provides a shady pause. If there’s been rain recently, the resurrection fern is stunningly vibrant.
Cross the road at the crosswalk and take a right on the sidewalk along Jasmine Street.
At 1 mile, take a left and enter the southern section of Egans Creek Greenway, joining the Blue Trail at another bench, kiosk, and bike rack.
To the right is a canal teeming with duckweed, a tiny, flowering aquatic plant. None was obvious along the northern section of the Greenway.
This is because the water there is brackish and tidal-driven, whereas the southern section’s water is fresh, and duckweed flourishes here.
This section is long, straight, and sunny. The adjacent canal abounds with turtles of all sizes sunning themselves along the banks.
At 1.4 miles there is a bench and a junction with the Red Trail to your right and the Blue Trail continuing straight.
At this junction there is a wooden slat barricade and a sign that tells about alligators.
The fence has been installed to keep visitors away from mother alligators and their offspring. At certain times of the year, this section may be closed.
If so, another short trail makes a detour that reconnects with the Blue Trail south past the alligator hatchery.
This section of the Blue Trail features large live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and resurrection ferns.
Anhingas dry their wings as they sit in these trees overlooking the waterway. Watch for herons, egrets, wood storks, and seasonal roseate spoonbills.
At 1.8 miles reach an intersection with the Yellow Trail. Stay straight here, and at 2 miles, bear right.
At 2.2 miles take another hard right; the Blue Trail ends here. Take a left onto the Yellow Trail, and follow it for a tenth of a mile to a bench on your right at 2.3 miles.
Take a left onto the Red Trail and head south. You’ll cross a 300-foot boardwalk that passes over Egans Creek.
The trail emerges into a sunny area with a large retention pond to the left surrounded by a chain link fence.
Past the pond at 2.6 miles, reach a parking lot located behind the Marriott Residence Inn on Sadler Road.
This is the southernmost trailhead. There are no facilities here, so plan accordingly.
Turn around here and head back across the boardwalk along the Red Trail, bearing left after a quarter mile.
Make a left again to cross the Yellow Trail after a quarter mile. Instead of returning the way you came, continue straight north on the Red Trail.
This adds a nice loop to the hike and walk through a dense maritime forest featuring live oak, palmetto, and pine trees on both sides of the trail.
Mosquitos can be intense here – aren’t you glad you brought bug spray and a hat?
After a half mile, there’s an intersection of a bicycle-only trail, the Purple Trail. Bear right here.
Emerge from forest into the sun at another bench. Turn right, staying on the Red Trail.
At three quarters of a mile from the south trailhead, bear left and hike along a straight stretch of grassy, sunny trail.
Turn right, reaching the intersection of the Blue Trail at 3.6 miles. You are now in familiar territory.
Make a left and retrace your steps hike back the way you began the hike, ending at the Atlantic Recreation Center for a total of 5 miles.
If you did not do so at the start of the hike, take the short Brown Trail to the Egans Creek Viewing Platform, featuring 2 panoramic binoculars for adults and kids.
A virtual walk in the woods at Egans Creek Greenway
See our photos of Egans Creek Greenway
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