Recreation around St. Augustine, the Ancient City established in 1565, concentrates on coastal habitats, both on the barrier islands and the estuaries that stretch many miles inland.
Trails and Parks in St. Augustine
- Anastasia State Park - Anastasia State Park is windswept and sandy, with an arc of beach that stretches four miles to Matanzas Inlet, curving in on itself to face the ancient city of St. Augustine.
- Ancient Dunes Trail - At Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, the Ancient Dunes Trail leads you on a short scramble up and over relict dunes deeply shaded by ancient live oaks
- Bayard Conservation Area - Bayard Conservation Area preserves an untouched riverfront forest on the St. Johns River. Follow this route through the John P. Hall Nature Preserve to visit the river
- Bella Vista Trail - A 1.8-mile loop through the uplands of Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, the Bella Vista Trail walks you through most of the habitats found on this barrier island.
- Castillo de San Marcos - The only remaining 17th century fortress in North America, the Castillo de San Marcos defended the Spanish colony of St. Augustine from two British sieges in the 1700s.
- Faver-Dykes State Park - From Faver-Dykes State Park, you can easily explore the estuaries of the Matanzas River. Shaded by oak hammocks along Pellicer Creek, this peaceful park offers camping, hiking and biking trails, and some of the best paddling along this coast.
- Fort Matanzas Nature Trail - On the shores of Fort Matanzas, a significant historic site south of St. Augustine, the dunes are now swaddled in maritime forest, a gentle place with ancient oaks and an accessible boardwalk.
- Fort Mose State Park - A little-known chapter in Florida history is that of Fort Mose, the first free black settlement in the southern United States. The settlement site is preserved and interpreted at Fort Mose State Park.
- GTM Reserve - Circling a peninsula of land between the Guana River and the Tolomato River, the trail system at GTM Reserve is one of North Florida's most beautiful places to hike.
- Pine Loop Trail - Nestled in oak hammocks along Pellicer Creek, Faver-Dykes State Park has an easy nature trail, the Pine Loop Trail, for landlubbers to trace the route of the creek through old-growth pines.
- Princess Place Preserve - Four gentle hiking loops showcase wild spaces and cultivated grounds at Princess Place Preserve, an 1880s homestead on Pellicer Creek with a historic lodge and campground on site.
- Stokes Landing Conservation Area - Stokes Landing provides an outdoor classroom for local schools and panoramic views of the salt marshes along the Tolomato River north of St. Augustine
- Washington Oaks Gardens State Park - Notable for its expansive landscaped gardens under a canopy of ancient live oaks, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is also the home of one of Florida's rare rocky shorelines.