NORTHEAST FLORIDA PARKS
A. Philip Randolph Heritage Park
(1096 Randolph Blvd., Downtown)
Picnic tables, playground equipment and a life-size bronze statue of Olympic Gold Medalist and Dallas Cowboy star Bob Hayes, who grew up less than a mile away.
Alpine Groves Park
(2060 S.R. 13, St. Johns)
Canopy oaks, wildlife and birds are featured in the 54.5-acre park, home to a historic farmhouse and a shed, circa 1900, hiking trails, a river boardwalk, fishing and visitors’ center.
Amelia Island State Park
(12157 Heckscher Dr.)
More than 200 acres of undeveloped sea island with beaches, salt marshes and coastal maritime forests. Fish, hike, sunbathe, birdwatch and ride horses; BYOH, y’all.
Anastasia State Park
(1340 A1A S., St. Augustine Beach)
A bird sanctuary and natural preserve with coastal camping, swimming, sunbathing, surfing, hiking, biking, sailboarding, canoeing, fishing and boating.
Barney Browning Park
(6014 Norwood Ave., Northside)
Browning Park offers a lighted basketball court, lighted softball diamond, grills, tables and playground equipment. It was named for a Northside business and community leader.
Black Creek Park & Trail
(7890 U.S. 17, Fleming Island)
These 15 acres are the staging area for the 8-mile bicycle/pedestrian trail between Green Cove and Orange Park.
Black Creek Ravines
(5645 Green Rd., Middleburg)
At the 973-acre resource-based park along Black Creek’s south bank, you can ride horses (BYOH here, too), hike, fish, boat and canoe.
Bull Memorial Park
(716 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach)
Across from Adele Grage Cultural Center, there are tennis court, a full playground, picnic area, amphitheater area and restrooms.
Castaway Island Preserve
(2921 San Pablo Rd. S., Intracoastal West)
Its 235 acres encompass a canoe/kayak launch site, paved trails, a wildlife observation post, grills, tables and security lighting. Which is odd because it closes at dusk.
(4000 Liberty St. N., Northside)
Between Springfield and Panama Park, this little spot was deeded from Evergreen Cemetery to the city in 1921. It’s a quiet place amid the business bustle of Main Street. No noisy neighbors, ya know?
Charles Boobie Clark Park & Pool
(8793 Sibbald Rd., Northside)
Stanton grad and Bethune-Cookman standout, the late Boobie Clark played pro football for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1972-’82. The community center and park honoring him has ball fields, a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, bleachers, concession stand, playground stuff and bathrooms on precisely 8.87899971008301 acres.
David Wayne Pack Park
(4871 Ocean St., Mayport Village)
This little spot honors the late David Pack, a Mayport community advocate. It has a lighted basketball court, grills, a picnic pavilion and playground stuff.
Ed Austin Regional Park
(11751 McCormick Rd., Arlington)
There’s an 18-hole flying-disc golf course, basketball courts, baseball, softball and soccer fields in 140 acres.
Faver-Dykes State Park
(100 Faver-Dykes Rd., St. Augustine)
An aquatic preserve featuring a state canoe trail. More than 1,000 acres along Pellicer Creek for camping, fishing, picnics, birding, hiking and nature walks. Open daily from 8 a.m.-sunset.
Fernandina Beach Skate Park
(25 Tarpon St.)
Ramps and obstacles for skateboarders, inline skaters and bicyclists; 3-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; health waiver required.
(Yukon Street off Park Street, Northside)
Boasting a massive playground, a baseball diamond, basketball courts, all-purpose fields and a wetlands preservation project.
Fort Clinch State Park
(2601 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach)
A restored Civil War fort has a visitor’s center, beaches, bathhouses, guided nature walks, campsites, mountain bike trails, ocean fishing pier, concessions and a gift shop. Because you don’t have enough useless crap on your shelves.
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
(505 Guana River Rd., South Ponte Vedra)
We just like to say the name; rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? Guana has 73,352 acres of freshwater and saltwater fishing, boating on the Guana and Tolomato rivers, nature study, ocean swimming and surfing, birding, hiking and mountain biking. The Environmental Education Center is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park
(12157 Heckscher Dr., Northside)
The mile-long, pedestrian-only fishing bridge spanning Nassau Sound is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Main access is on the north end through Amelia Island State Park.
Historic Kings Road Park
(1972 Kings Ave., San Marco)
This wedge-shaped park was part of the 1918 plat of Fletcher Park, originally called Fulton Park, after Robert Fulton, who invented the steamship. Pure folly.
Huguenot Memorial Park
(10980 Heckscher Dr., Northside)
You can drive on the beach here, 15 mph tops, 5 mph on the sand. Nearly 295 oceanfront acres for surfing, sailboarding, swimming, fishing, picnicking, wildlife observation, playgrounds, tent and RV camping. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. through October; $1 admission. Drive on the beach!
J. Gardner Nip Sams Memorial Park
(6602 Richardson Rd., Northside)
With 14-plus acres, Nip Sams has a lighted baseball field, softball field, lighted tennis hard court, bike racks, grills, picnic shelters and a prototype restroom with four unisex ADA toilets.
Jack Russell Park
(800 Seminole Rd., Atlantic Beach)
Home to Oceanside Rotary Skate Park, there’s also baseball and soccer fields, tennis and racquetball courts, basketball and volleyball courts, and a playground. And it’s extremely well lit, even late at night, much to the dismay of nearby residents.
(2 Imeson Rd., Northside)
This serene 14.5-mile trail (converted from abandoned rail tracks) is perfect for biking, hiking, in-line skating and running.
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
(500 Wonderwood Rd., Jacksonville)
The 447-acre oceanfront park, off Mayport Road, has a 1.5-mile beach, woods with off-road biking trails, campsites, laundry and shower facilities, picnic areas with grills, 60 acres of freshwater lakes and a kids’ water park.
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
(6239 S.R. 21, Keystone Heights)
A 2,000-plus-acre park with camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, nature trails, canoeing and lakefront cabins.
Peck Recreation Center & Park
(Elm Street, Fernandina Beach)
More than a century-old former schoolhouse has a gym, weight room, outdoor field, volleyball and basketball courts, aerobics room, computer lab, library, auditorium and reception room.
O.P. Skate Park
(1006 Fromhart St., Orange Park)
The free skate park for skaters of all ages and abilities is open every day. Helmet and notarized waiver required. Skateboards and in-line skates allowed.
Ronnie Van Zant Park & Playground
(2760 Sandridge Rd., Green Cove Springs)
This 85-acre park has a playground, pavilions with picnic areas, softball and soccer fields, tennis courts, nature trails and a fishing pond with piers. ’Cause Ronnie loved to fish.
Solomon Calhoun Community Center & Swimming Pool
(1300 Duval St., St. Augustine)
The 24,000-square-foot community center is located in the heart of West Augustine and includes a full-size gymnasium, swimming pool and splash park.
Talbot Islands State Park
(12157 Heckscher Dr., Northside)
These beautiful oceanfront parks, Little and Big Talbot, are great for surfing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, camping, picnicking, hiking and fishing. Or just chillin’. Big T has canoe launch spots, fishing, boat ramps
and hiking trails.
Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park
(7000 Roosevelt Blvd., Westside)
The 509-acre park named for the beloved congresswoman has nature and hiking trails, off-road biking, wildlife watchtower, outdoor classroom and nature center, library and an archery range.
Tree Hill Nature Center
(7152 Lone Star Rd., Arlington)
The 50-acre nature center has freshwater streams, gardens, nature trails, an amphitheater and exhibits. And the awesome annual Butterfly Festival!
Wingate Park/Paws Dog Park
(South Penman Road, Jax Beach)
Wingate is 16 acres of ball fields – soft, foot, base, Tee – and a picnic area. Paws is an off-leash park for dogs and their responsible humans.