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.
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.
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 preserves an untouched riverfront forest on the St. Johns River. Follow this route through the John P. Hall Nature Preserve to visit the river
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.
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.
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.
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.
A little-known chapter in Florida history is that of Fort Mose, the first free African settlement in the South in pre-Colonial America. The settlement site is preserved and interpreted at Fort Mose Historic State Park.
Two scenic overlooks at the end of two accessible trails highlight the location of the 1738 settlement of Fort Mose, the first colony of free Africans in the colonies before the United States was formed.
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.