At the mouth of the St. Johns River, Jacksonville is the site of the landing of the first French fleet to reach the shores of North America, as commemorated at the Ribault Column on the river’s bluffs. The colony at Fort Caroline was short-lived because the Spanish, having settled in St. Augustine, weren’t about to allow their enemies to claim this land for France.
Jacksonville contains dozens of neighborhoods, from Arlington to Southside, and plenty of small communities with their own identities, like the oceanfront towns of Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. All of Duval County – all 918 square miles of it – is incorporated into the City of Jacksonville, making it Florida’s largest city.
When you live in a tightly packed space, you need somewhere green as your go-to place nearby. These are our top picks for parks in Florida’s urban areas, chosen for their diversity of outdoor activities and/or their unique green spaces.
Jacksonville hiker Susan “Hammock Hanger” Turner received the 2014 Adventurer of the Year Award at the Trail Dames Summit in Boone, North Carolina this June.