Boating Guide to the River

Olivia Gowan-Snell as Elisa, Holly Gutshall as Julienne
& Karen Overstreet as Edith

by Kelly Savage
Black Creek
– Public Dock: Knights Marina
(Off of US17- 1472 River Lne, Green Cove Springs, 284-7088)
Appropriately named for its especially tannic water, Black Creek is a must see. Smaller than other tributaries to the St. Johns, boating this creek will give you an up close and personal view of wildlife.

-Alpine Groves Park
(2060 SR-13 St. Johns County,
Located on the Bartram Scenic Highway for a reason, this park offers a slice of history with the only restored citrus farm building left in the area. Enjoy peaceful views while relaxing in a bench swing overlooking the St. Johns.
Great paddle launch!

Julington Creek
-Hood Landing Public Boat Ramp & Clarks Fish Camp
(12903 Hood Landing Rd,
Located next to each other, this is a must do! Clarks Fish Camp is a tourist attraction like no other. So dock your boat and have lunch on beautiful Julington Creek while you take in the unique atmosphere.

– Mandarin Park (14780 Mandarin Rd., Dock at this city park and talk a nice hike through over two miles of trails, grill up lunch, or go fishing on the pier!

– Walter Jones Historical Park & County Dock (11964 Mandarin Rd., mandarin County dock is a public city boat dock right next to Walter Jones Park. Visiting this 10-acre park is like stepping back in time to post-Civil War Mandarin! Walk through oak hammock on your way to visit the Mandarin Museum which is home to many artifacts of the region. *County Dock is currently undergoing upgrades and may not be accessible for a few months.

Ortega River
The Ortega River is gorgeous! We take most of our guided boat trips up the Ortega to get a good look at wildlife and greenery

– Public Boat Ramp: Wayne B. Stevens Boat Ramp (4555 Ortega Farms Blvd.)

– Ringhaver Park (5198 118th St., Want to paddle in an area with no buildings? Then this is your spot! The park has a long path to the paddle launch, but it is worth it when you put in at the secluded McGirts Creek.

-Riverside Arts Market (RAM) Dock
(under the Fuller-Warren Bridge in Riverside,
The newly finished public dock makes this a must do on a Saturday. Where else can you hop off your boat and grab lunch, farm fresh fruits and veggies, a cool necklace, and beautiful local art?While you are docked up, walk to the neighboring Cummer Museum & Gardens.

– Metropolitan Park (1410 Gator Bowl Blvd, With 78 public slips available along with power, water, and pumping station you can stay for up to three days at this public park. Perfect for football season!

– Exchange Island (under the Matthews Bridge) Looking for a uninhabited secret island? Well, look no further!

– Reddie Point Preserve (4499 Yachtsman Way) Need a large dock to tie up for a bit? Or to pick up some friends? This park just finished a huge dock addition that can fit many boats, and it has a large parking lot close by.

Trout River
– Jacksonville Zoo (370 Zoo Pkwy, Did you know that you can come to the zoo for free by boat, kayak or canoe during zoo hours? They have a dock on Trout River, which is shallow, so best to check tides, that leads to the Asian Gardens exhibit and accesses the rest of the zoo!

Fort George Island & Sisters Creek
– Kingsley Plantation (11676 Palmetto Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32226, Former home of Zephaniah Kingsley and his family during the early 1800’s, this 1,000 acre National Park is rich with history, culture, and natural beauty. A large new boat dock makes it accessible from its historic entrance via Sister’s Creek.

– Kayak Amelia (13030 Heckscher Dr, Want a guided paddle around beautiful Fort George Island? Kayak Amelia offers a wide variety of trips where you can experience the area where the river meets the ocean.