With deep roots spanning back more than 500 years, Fernandina Beach is the city where John Muir stepped off a ship and started his walk across Florida to the Cedar Keys in 1867. A deep water port, it has been a nautical town and shrimping center for most of its life. A gateway by water to the St. Marys River and Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia, it shows its unique character throughout the historic downtown district.
Trails and Parks in Fernandina Beach
- Amelia Island State Park - A sweep of Atlantic Coast beach awaits along the southern tip of Amelia Island, where the sand glistens and the surf is frequently up. Amelia Island State Park protects 200 acres along the island's shore.
- American Beach - Home to the largest dune system on the Atlantic Coast in Florida, American Beach has a rich history as a vacation destination that served the African-American community during the days of segregation in the South.
- Big Talbot Big Pine Trail - The southernmost trail on Big Talbot Island is the 0.8-mile Big Pine Trail, a short walk out to a bluff above the estuary through a maritime hammock riffled by breezes
- Big Talbot Bluffs Beach Walk - At low tide, a walk along Bluffs Beach from the Bluffs Picnic Area of Big Talbot Island State Park brings rewarding views of the unusual black "rocks" and shimmering waters
- Big Talbot Island State Park - For a taste of tidal pools and black rock beaches in Florida, get out of your car and walk down to the unique shoreline of Big Talbot Island State Park.
- Black Rock Trail - An unusual and picturesque geologic anomoly, Blackrock Beach at Big Talbot Island is covered with formations that look like black lava rocks but are made of sand
- Campground Nature Trail - At Little Talbot Island State Park, the 0.8-mile Campground Nature Trail offers a side of Little Talbot that the whole family can enjoy—along the estuary
- Fernandina Plaza State Park - At Fernandina Plaza State Park, civilizations have made their mark here for more than 4,000 years, with the Spanish touch reaching these shores in the mid-1600s. This unassuming open space marks the spot of Plaza San Carlos, a parade ground for the fortress that protected a fledgling city known as Fernandina.
- Fort Clinch State Park - Fort Clinch State Park offers camping by the sea, and extensive bike trails along a slender peninsula. But the main reason to visit is its namesake. Fort Clinch is one of the largest brick structures in Florida, and a must-see for architecture buffs.
- George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park - Once a piece of A1A from Amelia Island to Big Talbot Island, the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier is one of several former highway segments now under the care of Florida State Parks. Open 24 hours, it's popular for sport fishing as well as bringing home a catch for dinner.
- Island Hiking Trail - At Little Talbot Island State Park, the Island Hiking Trail is a 3.5-mile loop that guides you on a scramble over big dunes to a beach walk on the Atlantic Ocean
- John Muir Ecological Park - John Muir Ecological Park in Yulee connects you to an important and mostly forgotten chapter of Florida history: our role in John Muir's "Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf."
- Jones Cut Trail - The 1.5-mile Jones Cut Trail provides a meander into the heart of the maritime forest that carpets Big Talbot Island State Park, but it’s not the easiest trail to find
- Little Talbot Island State Park - With one of the closest wild beaches to Jacksonville, Little Talbot Island State Park is a heavily visited park, and not just for its beaches. Paddling in the estuaries and camping amid the dunes are popular pastimes, too.